Monday, October 17, 2011

Normal Body

So this second unit is called Normal Body.

I like the names of the units at Duke, they sound so innocuous, so very not stressful at all.

Unlike the first unit (Molecules and Cells) Normal Body is subdivided into Physiology, Microanatomy, Gross Anatomy (<3!!) and Embryology.

For testing purposes the embryology subject material is on the gross anatomy tests and microanatomy is on the physiology tests; although microanatomy and gross anatomy have practicals in addition to written tests.

Some weeks have had more gross anatomy lectures and others (like last week) skew more towards physiology. But it all tries to tie in together, like we dissected the hearts when we were studying electrocardiology and hemodynamics.

This unit is so much more fun than Molecules and Cells. I know I've already gushed about how much I love Gross Anatomy, but I do! And the course director is very enthusiastic about his subject which helps immensely.

We still have TBLs, but the individual portion is done at home/open book and the group exercise is done in class and usually incorporates multiple topics. There are also GA TBLs which are at the end of the lab sessions and are closed notes but open cadaver.

Unlike Molecules and Cells where we had a test every 2 weeks on everything we've been taught in the previous 2 weeks, Normal Body had a 3 week stretch without a test, followed by something every Monday for the next month. It sounds bad and it does kill your social life, but it isn't as horrible as it could be since each week is a different subject (next week is the microanatomy practical, but happily we just had to study the MA lectures for the physiology midterm we had today so that should all be fresh in our minds. And frees up some study time so I can spend the next two weeks studying the heck out of our GA and embryology materials since that's the Monday after next).

My husband came up this weekend so I had to strike a little bit of a study/life balance and go out on a date with him. It was good to spend a few hours not thinking about anything more complex than what to order for dinner. He was pretty awesome and took the kids for a hike while I sequestered myself in my study room. I hope if I study ahead enough that I can give him more time when he comes up again Halloween weekend (can I mention how it is my absolute favorite holiday ever and I'm really sad at the idea of not getting to make costumes this year?? But I left my sewing machine at home for a reason. It is only one year afterall).

I'll make a separate entry about how I'm doing personally, but I've been meaning to put this one out there for a while. I think the course set up is very interesting and this set up with having the different units is unique (at least in my academic experience). Overall I think it works well.


  1. Hi. I know this has nothing to do with this specific post, but I met you yesterday when I toured Duke. I read your blog the night before I went and found it very helpful! I am actually going to subscribe since it is so hard to find good pathology blogs. Would you mind if I emailed you before I apply with what my application looks like so far and maybe give me some tips to improve it?

  2. Whitney, I'm so sorry that I didn't see this until now! But sure! I'm not sure how useful I can be, but my email address is