Breathe Easy, You've Found Me ((HUGS))

People will wonder why this blog is needed, why minority midwifery student? It's very simple actually; I was looking for this blog...but I couldn't find I created it. We all have unique experiences, and every experience, every story, can help someone else. I am a black girl from the hood at an ivy league professional school. That, alone, is reason enough to write. Somebody was looking for this blog. Someone wanted proof that what I'm doing can be done - even when you come from where we come from.

To that person especially, WELCOME.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Crunch Time/Class Descriptions

Starting next week, I have an exam almost every week, one test right after the other, sometimes more than one in a given day. It's crunch time, and I'm feeling it, but it's also about mid-semester, so I can say that I've survived the first half of a very challenging semester! I just read all of the required reading in the Patho textbook for the upcoming exam, and actually understood half of it (which is progress). This upcoming exam is all genetics. Enough said.

In keeping with the purpose of this blog, I want to say a little bit about what each class is like:


Stats: (1st class of morning) Self explanatory...about formulas to help you figure out statistics for studies you conduct, and help you understand the studies you read so that you know if they have real clinical significance or not. The professor uses power point for teaching, and the exams are open note open book - less calculation, more interpretation type questions. Survivable.

Clinical Conference: (1hr before lunch) Come talk about your clinical experiences, present a patient as a case study, turn in charting paperwork, learn about random things like prescription writing if it turns out that your clinical preceptor wants you to know how right now!

Lunch (and either brown folks group meeting or midwifery check-in)

Primary Care for Midwives: (2 hours) This is the class where you learn about things like asthma, immunizations, ears/eyes/nose/throat, respiratory issues, diabetes, endocrine problems (thyroid, etc), dermatology stuff and anything else you might end up dealing with as a primary care provider. These are the things that midwives often choose whether or not to You can refer most of this out if your patients have access to other services, or if you have FNPs/docs on site at your local clinic, or you can choose to manage a lot of the aforementioned because most of it is clearly within the CNM scope of practice. This class has a lot of case studies, so it's not always straight lecture.

Advanced Patho: (3hrs, into the evening) I keep including the advanced because we also took a patho course last year, and this patho course is a new requirement started last year. (ugh) This course is about the pathophysiology behind diseases. (I know you aren't supposed to use the word in the definition ;o) you learn things like the genetic basis of Downs Syndrome (instead of the signs, symptoms, treatments, etc that you would learn in something like general med surg) You learn all about cells and alterations of cells, immunity, etc. Details, details, details. 3 hours of straight lecture.


Adv Physical Assessment class: (3hrs starting at 8 friggin AM) The lecture material about how to do a thorough full exam, ie: all that stuff your doctor does like look in your ears, mouth, and eyes with all those nifty tools, and listening to the heart and lungs, and every thing else you can think of. This class also has a lot of history taking and charting lectures. 3 hours of straight lecture.

Lunch 11-12

Physical Assessment Lab: (3hrs, Noon-3) The lab component to the above class, and lucky me I have the actual professor of the lecture portion as a lab professor. (Lucky = sarcastic, she's crazy, and new to the school as of September 1st) We practice all the stuff we just learned 5 minutes ago in a lab that has several beds that are set up like provider's offices are. You pick a partner for the semester and the two of you practice skills for 3 hours on each other. We all already know how I feel about that.

Research: (2 hours, 3:30-5:30) Basically you learn research methods and terminology. Surprisingly, you never read research articles. Isn't that crazy? Maybe it's coming up in the next half of the class, but it seems to me that we should be at least reading some research articles in this class from the very start. This class is set up differently than the other courses as it has a weekly quiz due before class, and every class period you have to get into small groups and work on some little exercise for the attendance credit.


Gynecology: (2hrs, at whatever time they tell us to be there, usually 3-5) This class is what other people probably think we learn all day long. It's how to do a gyn visit (general exams, pelvic exams, pap smears, birth control (or not), STD testing/diagnosing/treatment), dysfunctional uterine bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis, cervical cancer, etc. This is the class for which we also have a clinical rotation every Thursday where do all of the aforementioned.

Fridays we are supposed to be "free," but they always end up scheduling something, like special graduate teaching sessions for you to learn how to do a male genital exam or breast exam, or pelvic exam, etc. Why are midwives learning how to do a male genital exam? Isn't this out of our scope of practice? *sigh* But I try my hardest to keep my Fridays clear, even if it means I do these GTA session with other classes at different times. I need one day during the week to myself, to STUDY. Isn't that crazy, a student who has no time to study, absorb, learn.


Emory Student Midwife said...

It sounds like you are so so busy but managing it well. It's weird how they schedule time for lunch :) My school does that too -- and they generally schedule things during "lunch" as well. Or require us to go to these "events." During my undergrad, I never had a scheduled "lunch time" -- lol. We just got our spring schedule -- it looks like fun!

chialing81 said...

Wow. Just - wow. You. Are. Amazing. =)

Dark Daughta said...

So you're jam packed. :)

I always wondered if they schedule special speakers who do lectures on stuff like feminist ethics, the politics of midwifery and race, classism, ableism, sexual conservatism as a form of oppression, fat phobia.

I mean, I'm sure that at least some of this is touched on in the context of some of the classes, but are there spaces where this is an actual focus?

Loving Pecola said...

EMS: Hey! Did you post your schedule? I didn't see it but I might have missed it!

Thanks C! I am always, repeat *always* amazed at your journey from new graduate nurse straight to the intensive care environment. I keep thinking "there's just no way..." :O)

Ha! DD the answer to that is "NO!" And not only that, but we rarely speak on any of those issues you mentioned in *any* course. This institution is very interested in maintaining its status quo...and we know that after over 300 years of existence, maintaining status quo does not include the discussion of the aformentioned topics.

Once or twice I've come here to drain my brain about these issues simply because it's all swirling around in my head and I haven't found very many people around me who are willing to take it there. I must also say, though, that I have not used my power to bring these issues to the forefront either. I lobbied for the money and now have the ability to bring people to campus to speak on these and other issues and haven't done the leg work of getting them here. Partly because I'm so damn busy with this course load, but also because I'm in victim mode and telling myself "it's not my responsibility to bring these people to's not my responsibility to make our curriculum reflect more than the beliefs of these religious-masked-as-traditional and self-proclaimed liberal women teaching me." My "I payed XYZ, they should bring this to me" attitude is getting in the way. But what can I say? I know better. I'm working on it. :o)