Starting the abnormal

Hayley, Second Year Medical StudentHello medical school blog readers. I am a second year.

This means that I am not a first year, so I can respond somewhat coherently to the barrage of medicine-related questions showered on me at the summer’s family reunion. But I am also not a third year, which means that I really have no idea of the pathology behind them.

Pathology is what I am here to learn this year. Second year is about disease, and yes – morbid as it may be – I am stoked. The abnormal is so much more interesting than the normal.

Speaking of normal – at first I thought about this blog as a way to give you a view into the life of a “normal” medical student. But then I realized, “normal” does not exist in medical school. Age, gender, race, relationship status, housing situation, family background, previous job experience and many other aspects, make each of us in the class of 2014 so different I feel I can really only speak confidently about myself and my personal experience.

This is medical school as done by Hayley. So here it goes:

Well, this is the last weekend before school starts again on Monday. Bring on the green tea, early morning study sessions, and Dr. Cole’s Bible study. Back to the grind.

So, you may ask, “Hayley, what have you been doing with yourself since freshman year finished on June 10?”

What a good question.

In Auberry: A horse grazing outside the trailer where I was living.

I started the summer with a preceptorship through California Association of Family Physicians with an emphasis on rural medicine. I was placed in Auberry, CA with a family practice doctor whom I shadowed for 4 weeks. Highlights included hearing ronchi and heart murmurs, reading EKGs, and making my first official diagnosis of strep throat, which was confirmed with a rapid strep test (I was very excited).

I also learned a lot about horses, fishing, and how to drive a pontoon boat.

After the month was over I returned to Carnation, WA – which is where my family lives – and spent some quality time with the ‘rents, sister, and boyfriend. For me, it was pretty idyllic. We climbed mountains, went on a 5 day backpacking trip in Banff, played Halo, watched Gossip Girl, went geo-cashing, and ate a lot of food.

Banff National Park


Dear Summer, You have been grand. Thanks for all the fun and adventures. I’m sad to see you go, but any more would feel like pure gluttony. I am ready to leave you behind and face the hard work of studying the abnormal. With fond regards, Hayley

Hiking in Washington

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About Hayley

I am Hayley, a second year medical student at Loma Linda University. I grew up outside of Seattle, in the small cow-dominated town of Carnation which is famous primarily for its breakfast products. I graduated from Wheaton College in 2010 with a degree in biology. When I am not studying (which is not very often) I enjoy running in the dark, eating sushi, doodling on my notes, and climbing to the tops of mountains. Some of the things and people I love include trees, rain, my family, my boyfriend Brian, green tea, grapes, and my friends in the class of 2014. Through this blog, I hope to provide you with a bit of insight on my life as a 2nd year med student; what I am learning, seeing, and realizing as I travel through this year of school.