Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pool Days at the University club for SGU Significant Others and Their Immediate Family

The University Club welcomes SOs, and their immediate family, to use the pool facilities, kayaks, and beach area on Mondays and Thursdays from 8am - 6pm.  This beautiful hotel has gorgeous views you won't want to miss.

Note:  Outside customers who dine at the University Club are also entitled to use the pool. 

The University Club Restaurant has great food.  Have a great workout swimming and after enjoy a delicious meal. 
*Getting there: Take the L’ANCE AUX EPINES bus from the SGU bus terminal and stop at the University Club. The entrance of the club is labeled with a sign so it's hard to miss.  Check the bus schedule for departure times.  Bus isn't as frequent (~every hour) as the Grand Anse bus so plan accordingly. 
*From school, it takes about 10-15 min. to get to the pool.

*There's an open shower right next to the pool where you can rinse off.  
*Don't forget your camera!
*Click Here for more pictures 
*Click Here for the University Club Restaurant Menu
*Information below taken from the Significant Others of SGU website
In order to use this lovely facility, It is essential that all SOs adhere to the following RULES.
  • SOs must show SO ID and sign in & out at the Reception Desk. We are allowed to bring only our direct family to th pool, with a maximum of 2 children per adult.  If you have more than 2 children, you must have another adult accompany you.
  • Children must be closely supervised, as there is no lifeguard on duty.  The pool is shallow and diving is not permitted. Please restrict dangerous activities and disturbing behavior. (for example running, screaming, walking along pool ledge, etc).  Volume level of children using the pool should be kept at a respectable level considering there is a resturant and hotel accomidations surrounding the pool.
  • Kayaks are available for adults (ages 16+). Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.  Kayaks only hold 2 people and should not pass towards the open sea beyond the Club jetty.  All kayak users are required to wear buoyancy vests which are available from Reception.
  • While use of the pool is free of charge, SOs are required to make purchases from the bar or restaurant. (Food items cost about $30 EC, bottled water $3EC, and drinks about $10EC).  SOs are not allowed to bring outside food or drinks in to the University Club with the exception of baby bottles and baby food.
  • Glassware must not be taken within 4 feet of the pool. Any breakages must be reported to staff members without delay.
  • Please be clean and tidy, and courteous to all guests and staff. Place trash in the bins provided near the stairways and clean the table or chairs you've used. Enter and exit the pool area via the path and not through the restaurant itself.

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    White Coat Ceremony

    White Coat Ceremony
    This ceremony is held at the beginning of each term and marks the entry into the noble profession of medicine or veterinary medicine. Students should bring a shirt, tie, and trousers, or a sundress for this occasion (Girls, if you're planning on only bringing one pair of dress shoes, make sure they're closed toed as you'll be needing them for the mandatory OSPE exam). For Fall 2011, the ceremony took place the day before the start of the semester.

    Program Length: 1:30-2hrs
    1.  Welcome
    2.  Remarks from Chancellor
    3.  Keynote Address
    4.  Individual presentation of White Coat
    5. Professional Commitment-students recite oath aloud
    6. Recessional

    (Don't forget to pick up ceremony and reception tickets for your guests!  Otherwise, they will not be able to enter(especially into the reception).  The school will let you know where you need to go for tickets.

    *Tip:  This terms incoming class was bigger than usual and the lecture hall filled up fast.  If you want your guest to avoid ending up in the overflow room, make sure you tell them to arrive at least 20min early!  The school was also able to record the whole event for students to show to their family abroad, but I'm not sure if they will do the same for next term's class.

    *Don't forget to bring your camera to capture this important milestone.  

    Reception Menu: Samosas, Weiner Dogs, cupcakes, fresh fruit, savory tarteletts, Juice, corn bread balls on a toothpick, ham and cream cheese rolls. 

    The first Term Crew. Brian (husband), Myra, and Mark (right)... great friends.

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    First Term Life

    Everything you need to know for midterms.
    *Course Breakdown and Advice 

    *OSPE I Exam Information

    *Supplemental Materials suggestions for 1st term:
    -Anatomy- Gray’s Anatomy Review- written by course director. Good way to teach you how to apply what you learn.  Marios Loukas, 2011 Copyright
    -BRS Anatomy

    *Unified Exam- given to asses where you stand academically
    Five weeks into school  you will take a unified exam. 25 questions per class (Histology, Biochemistry, Anatomy) for a total of 75 questions. That's 25 points per class.  Brian says to treat it like midterms.  Take advantage of it because it’s at the beginning of the term where the workload is not as dense.  It’s worth 6-8% of your overall grade for every class.  Don't slack off and not study for the unified.  25 points IS 25 points.

    *Random Tips:
    -You need to study everyday. It’s no joke here.
    - Brian lives ~7 min away from campus and found no need for a car. His apartment is conveniently located on a main bus route (next to Texaco).
    -On days you don’t have lab make sure you wake up and study in the morning. Try not to sleep in.
    -The AC is  blasted in all classes. Make sure to bring a sweater.

    *Decel if the workload is too much for you  
    -You can decel without worrying about being charged extra tuition.  The only thing you have to worry about is living expenses.  Also, deceling will be placed on your transcript since they see when you start and finish the basic sciences.  You must finish basic sciences within 3 years.

    A Typical Page of Notes for Brian- This is just half a page.

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    What to Consider Before Bringing your Dog To Grenada

    Gunther checking out poisonous Mr. Frog
     I'm the wife of a med student and have all the time in the world to tend to my dog's needs.  He's very happy here despite the lack of doggie companions and hot weather.  I teach him tricks and do obedience training with him often to help stimulate his mind so he doesn't get bored.

    If you're a student and are thinking of bringing your pet over, I highly recommend reading my list below prior to making your final decision.  I include what life is like for Gunther here in Grenada along with details on what it took to get him here (paperwork, airlines, kennel, restrictions, fees).

    *Dogs Banned in Grenada-
    "Dangerous Dogs"
    1. Any dog of the type known as Pit Bull Terrier, that is to say Staffordshire
    Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bull Terrier or any
    mixed Breed dog which can be identified as partially of any of those breeds.
    2. Any dog of the type knows as Fila Brasileiro.
    3. Any dog of the type knows as Japanese Tosa.

    *You will most likely be charged duty for your pet upon leaving the airport-
    Here is the breakdown of what I paid for my dog:
    How much I told them I paid for my dog- $280 US dollars
    They charged me:
    CSC- 74.24
    VAT- 322.92
    Total: 991.04 EC ---> 382.81 USD

    *The process of transporting your dog as cargo can turn out to be disastrous even if you've prepared everything before hand.  In my case, my flight was canceled so naturally, we canceled our dog's flight (with Amerijet).  This company doesn't frequently ship animals out to Grenada so I had to wait for the next available flight (one week after) that resonated with my new American Airlines flight.  Luckily, I decided to leave the island one month in advance just in case something like this were to happen so I'd have plenty of time to work out a new schedule.
    *Just in case- if your dog makes it to Grenada before you do, have a student or friend on the island standby to receive your animal at the airport (Yes, you guessed again. This is what happened to me. My landlady was kind enough to fetch him for us. She provided duty receipts and all and I gave her a fat tip).
    *I have never seen any dogs in any indoor places including stores, malls, restaurants, facilities, govt. buildings.  Grenada isn't as "pet friendly" as many places are in America (such as San Francisco where there are dog parks everywhere you turn).
    *You can bring your dog to campus but it must be on leash at all times. 
    *Make sure your dogs don't play with Grenadian frogs. There are two main types (one thumb sized and the other big (as seen in picture above).  The big ones are poisonous!
    *I leave the AC on 24/7 so my dog won't over heat while at home. I pay ~$230 USD (~600 EC) a month.  Room is about 10'x15' with a high ceiling.
    * Avoid flights that layover in Barbados at all cost.  They will euthanize your pet if they feel like they have to.  You will have no power to fight their decision.  Different country, different rules.
    *There are no dog parks here.
    *I apologize to those who have been offended by my advice in not picking up dog poop. Though there are large uncontrolled/unregulated/not vaccinated amount of dogs roaming around, leaving their poop behind as they please, there is no excuse to not pick up after your animal yourself.  Not picking up after your dog will definitely make contamination problems worse. As you may know, feces that get left behind, get into earth's water sources and contaminate water.  I just hope that Grenada has a proper waste facility in which waste is unable to penetrate into the earth.  This way, your poop picking up efforts will not be for nothing.  Of course, initially when I advised to not pick up poop, I never allowed for my dog to defecate in main areas and only in my private garden so if you're one of those people who don't pick up after your dog after all, make sure you do have common decency to not leave any surprises for pedestrians.
    *Most dogs found in Grenada are either stray or guard dogs
    *Locals will either love or be scared of your dog (a lot of the older adults tend to tense up when they pass by me and my dog). 
    *Call your airlines to double check if your dog is permitted to fly (I think bull dogs aren't on some airlines because they have trouble breathing in certain conditions)
    *Always keep your dog on a leash when in public as stray dogs can be feisty and locals will feel more secured.
    *Most people that walk their dogs in public are foreigners.
    *There are dog sitting services on the island where you can leave your dog when you leave the country for vacation. Though I'm pretty sure you'll make friends you can trust that would be glad to watch over your dog during break.
    *The dog food available on the island sucks (made with a lot of corn meal and fillers) and on top of that, it's pricey.  It's equally as pricey, if not more, to ship food from your country or origin.
    *I walk my dog very early in the morning when there's virtually no one in sight just so I can let him off the leash and play catch with him.  We always play on the soccer field in front of the main grocery store, IGA.
    *My dog overheats easily so I never walk him from 8am-5pm.
    *Bring some of your pet's favorite toys to keep him busy.  I brought a Kong over that I always stuff with goodies and freeze.  I leave it to my dog for him to chew on to keep him busy while he's alone at home.  It also stimulates his brain.  I also bought tug toys, balls, and a couple of Frisbees. 
    *As a med student, you'll most likely have little to no free time.  Will you have enough time to take your dog out for walks, play with him, bathe him, socialize him, and buy him food?  Most students I know that brought their dogs over also have a significant other to help take care of dog responsibilities.  It's definitely a great idea to being your dog companion over but make sure you'll have the time to tend to his needs. Otherwise, you'll end up with a deprived dog.
    *Try making friends with other students that also own dogs when you arrive to the island.  They will be your only source for socialization.
    *If your pet is flying, make sure you buy a kennel that's airplane approved.
    *Dogs are not permitted on SGU school buses. You may want to consider buying a car if you plan on taking your furry friends around with you (I just walk him everywhere).
    *Dogs are not allowed to live on campus.  There are many pet friendly apartments nearby. Make sure you inquire about all pet policy details (deposit, pet rent, etc.)
    *If you decide to bring you pet here, try tiring him out the day before so he'll most likely knock out during the trip instead of stress out.  

     Important Links:
    *All you need to know- Information from the Significant Others Club of SGU- Paperwork Requirements
    *If you're pet is unable to fly with you due to heat embargo regulations (weather is too hot and unsafe for your pet to be stored in cargo), you can chose to transport him using Amerijet (I used this method and it was very reliable).  They only ship one way to Grenada.
    *U.S. Pet Air Travel Regulations
    *Traveling with Pets- American Airlines Regulations (I flew with them)
    *Pet services and Supplies in Grenada
    Airline Approved Kennel. Check with your airline for details.

    An Overview of Grenada

    Contents: Interesting Facts,What Grenada Is Known For, Climate, Language, Airlines, Banks, Money, Bus Fares, Credit Cards, Emergency Phone Numbers, Driver’s License, Electricity, Entertainment, Night Clubs, Pets, Restaurants, Roads, Tax, Taxis, Cultural Norms, Hilarious Grenadian Experiences

    *Click HERE for a map of Grenada
    *Click HERE for a map of St. George's
    *Click HERE for my entry on where to go for everything (food, services, items + general advice).

    Interesting Facts:
    • The state of Grenada is comprised of three islands: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique
    • Grenada is also known as "The Isle of Spice"
    • Grenada produces 1/3 of the world's nutmeg supply
    • Grenada was first sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1498 (although during orientation, locals joked around about the land being first discovered by the natives that were already living there before Columbus came around hahaha)
    • Grenada achieved its independence from Britain on Feburary 7, 1974
    • wearing camouflage (army's uniform) and swearing at an officer is considered a crime
    • the state of Grenada is 133 square miles. Grenada is 21 miles long by 12 miles wide. Carriacou is 13sq. miles, and Petite Martinique is 468 acres
    • the capital of Grenada is Saint George's
    • population-approximately 102,000 of African, East Indian and European descent

    What Grenada is known for:
    • spices- they are otherwise known as the Isle of Spice.  There are more spices per square mile than any other place on the planet. The most popular ones are nutmeg, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
    • picturesque beaches- Grenada has 45 white sand beaches and 9 black sand beaches with turquoise waters containing amazing wildlife such as morays, sea-horses, and angelfish and must see reef formations.
    • tropical vegetation and waterfalls
    • culture and dance. each year July-August, Grenada hosts a big celebration, Carnival, where many events take place- bands compete against one another, costume contests, cultural dances, beauty pageants, and so much more.
    • their hospitality- they love to greet others they come across and love striking up conversations with others
    • tourism- tourism in Grenada is becoming more and more popular as the years pass by.  Although most hotels are locally owned, there are major plans to expand in the near future. 
    The lowest temperatures occur between November and February. The climate varies according to altitude. Driest season is January to May.  Rainy season is June to December (even then, it never rains for more than a hour at a time and not every day). Average Grenada temperature year round- 85degrees F. It's almost always windy when it rains so you can expect to get splashed on from all directions.  Bring a poncho or an umbrella you can depend on (unless you want to entertain locals with your inverted umbrella).
    • Air Canada offers one weekly direct flight from Toronto during December-April
    • American Airlines offers 3 flights weekly from Miami, Florida
    • American Eagle offers flights via Puerto Rico
    • British Airways, Monarch Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways offer direct flights weekly from london
    • Delta Airlines offers weekly direct flights from JFK, New York
    • LIAT the Star of the Caribbean offers daily flights from 26 destinations in the Caribbean
    • Condor offers one flight weekly direct from Germany
    • SVG offers daily flights between Grenada and Carriacou with connections to Union Island
    • Conviasa offers flights twice daily to Grenada from Magarita
    English is the official language.
      • Hours are generally Monday-Thursdays 8am to 2pm. Fridays 8am-4pm.
      • bank in Grenada- First International Caribbean Bank, Grenada co-operative bank, RBTT Bank, Republic Bank, Scotia bank. (Scotia bank is a sister bank of Ban of America. If you have a bank account with B of A, make sure you sign up for an ATM card to use on the Island. You may withdraw from Scotia Bank's 24hr ATM machine without being charged a fee)
      • The Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar is linked to the US dollar at 2.7169. Click here for a currency converter. 
      • to convert from EC to USD, take the amount of EC and divide by 2.7169. For example. I want to know how much 80EC is in US dollar---> 80/2.7169 = 29.57usd
      • to convert from USD to EC, take amount of USD and multiply by 2.7169. For example, I want to know how much 80USD is---> 80x2.1769 = 217.352ec
      • most places in Grand Anse accepts USD since there are a lot of foreign students in the area. Buses also accept USD

        Bus Fares in Grenada:
        from Grenada to:
        • Annandale-2.50ec
        • Concorde- 3.50ec
        • Grand Ase- 2.50ec
        • Grand Etang-5.00ec
        • Grenville-6.00ec
        • Gouyave-3.50ec
        • La Sagesse-3.50ec
        • Sauteurs-6.50ec
        • Victoria-5.00ec
        • Westerhall-5.00ec
        *Carriacou: Within one mile 1.50ec - over one mile 2.50ec
        *buses are numbered according to a certain route
        *bus fares are subject to change. usually during major events, drivers will charge more

        Please visit Saint George's University's website for more details on the bus system. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.

         Business Hours:
        *shops- generally Monday-friday 8am-4pm. Saturday 8am-1pm
        *government offices- Monday-Friday 8am-4pm but payments must be taken by 3pm

        Roman Catholics 64%
        Angelican 22%
        Methodist 3%
        Seventh Day Adventists 3%

        Lightweight summer clothing. Conservative in public-no bikinis or short shorts, unless at the beach.  Nude/topless bathing is not permitted. Semi-formal when visiting banks and government buildings.  Hiking shoes will come in handy for hikers.

        Credit Cards:
        Major credit cards accepted by most hotels. For students, credit cards are accepted at the grocery and hardware store.  Double check with your credit card company's international charges fees.

        Emergency Phone Numbers:
        *Police and Fire- 911
        -St George's 434
        -St Andrews 724
        -Carriacou 774
        *Coast Guard- 399

        Drivers License:
        You must present a legit License to the local traffic department at the Central Police Station on the Carenage. Cost is 30ec.  Most car rental firms issue temporary local permits. Most students take this route to avoid the hassle of applying for a license.  Please visit Saint George's University's website for rules, procedures, regulations, and fine details.

        220-240Volts- 50 cycles. for more details, please visit my entry on electrical plug/outlet and voltage information.

        Most hotels provide entertainment. Steel band music, crab racing, music and dancing. Grenadian performers include folk music, drama, and cultural performances.
        *Karaoke- Creole Shack, The Carenage (saint george's), Bananas (true blue, saint george's), flamboyant hotel
        *Movies- Reno Cinema (lagoon road, saint george's) tel: 473-440-5368
        Movie Palace, Grand Anse tel: 473-440-1500,
        Deluxe Cinema , Grenville, Saint Andrew, tel: 473-442-7636

        Night Clubs:
        Fantazia 2001
        Bananas, True Blue, Saint George's
        Karma, The Carenage, Saint George's

        Veterinary services are available for your pets at the GSPCA, Lowthers Lane, Saint George's. Tel: 473-440-4874

        A guide to prices-
        A three course meal, per person varies from 30ec in local restaurants to 120ec in 4/5 star hotels.

        there is a network of about 650 miles of paved roads.

        There is a %10 Government tax on hotel accomodation and 15% VAT on restaurant dining.

        Rates vary depending on the length of your journey and where you want to go, but travelers can anticipate some fees based on set rates for popular routes and tourist destinations. Traveling from the airport to Grand Anse, L'Anse aux Epines, and St. George's will cost approximately $10(USD) to $12(USD) per person, and if you travel within a one-mile radius of the airport, your trip will only cost $2.75(USD). There is a surcharge on cab rides between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. as well as for trips outside of St. George's.

        Some companies offer 24-hour cab service, so whenever you need a ride, all you have to do is pick up the phone. Private taxis can be arranged at a higher rate, or you can split the cost with another group if possible.

        I highly suggest Phillip:  he the nicest, most professional, most punctual, 24/7 taxi driver (he has a bus). He lives in Mont Toute close to Food Fair.
        1+ (473) 416 2546

        Elmus is also a nice driver, but his rates are more than Phillips. He also owns a bus and is located around Foodfair.
        1+ (473) 418 8295

        First Term Class Information and Advice

        COURSE BREAKDOWN (Anatomy, Histology, Biochemistry, Bioethics)

        ANATOMY (8 units)
        -Anatomy is comprised of Anatomy lab and Anatomy lecture (lecture is broken up into 3 Parts: Wet lab, dry lab, and small group discussion)
        -you will have anatomy lab 1/week from 7:45-12pm
        -The section you start out at will depend on which group you are in
        -Need to wear scrubs for lab. Bring 1-2 sets. No open toed shoes allowed.  You can wear your white coat on top of regular clothes if want.  Brian did not because he told me it's difficult to wash off the smell of cadavers.


        Wet Lab Section
        -Cadavers and body parts are laid out at different stations.
        -Each lab there will be a couple of professors floating around just in case you need help.
        -There are about 7 stations and you will have 7 minute per station with your group.
        -When you ask a professors to help out, keep in mind that they may only cover a fraction of the “list” (what you’re expected to learn) in the given time frame.  You’d have to come back on your own time to learn what was missed during class.   
        -Best way to study is to watch online videos posted on Sakai.  Video will cover all structures you need to know.  In addition, use Netter’s Anatomy book (supplied).
        -Before going to wet lab, make sure you know the general area in which muscles, nerves, and blood vessels are located and where they go.  This helps facilitate the learning process and allows you to get the most out of class lecture.
        -For spring term 2012, SGU may get new equipment that will help project labeled cadaver parts on overhead screens.  For past Fall 2011 term, students only had 5-7 professors (for ~60 students) to help with confirmation. 
        -For some stations, you’ll have radiographs (MRI- T1/T2 weighted) CT scan, plain x-rays, angiograms and skeletal pieces to help with visualization.  You will need to point out structures. During the wet lab practical you won’t be tested on identifying any bones (they only show you bones in lab just to give you an idea of where things are located).  For the final, they will give questions in regards to radiographs.
        *You’ll be put into groups of 4 and rotate around 7 different cadavers/prosections.
        Most important book for wet lab- Mcminn’s Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy (book is included in tuition).  Use the book a lot because it has pictures of real life cadavers (the virtual portion of the midterm and final examinations will take pictures directly from this book).  But first, use Netters Anatomy book (pictures are drawn out) to get a general visual understanding of all the structures.

        Dry Lab Section
        -For all labs (Bioethics, Anatomy, Biochemistry), you’ll be divided up according to your last name .  However in histology, groups are based on where you decide sit.  You will be with this group until the end of the term.  Quite a few students dropped or decelled in Brian's histology lab session, so his group was separated towards the end.  
        -3 sets of questions are given out to each group.  You will spend the whole time answering questions on your own.  There are only a few professors to go around helping confirm the answers.
        -You will be placed in groups of ~8
        -Spent time implementing ultrasound, but didn’t get tested on it because it’s a trial run.  Next term may get tested on it.

        Small Group Discussion Section
        - 4 sections
        1. First 5 min you spend taking a quiz. Each is worth 2  points. 1st point is for showing up and ½pt. for each question right.  Every point counts right? So don’t take these quizzes lightly.  
        (*Grading system not based on grades and instead, based on percentages. )
        2. ~5 clinical cases will be given with follow up questions posted online a week prior for you to prepare before they are discussed in class.
        Format- Each group will have one clinical tutor. He/she will start at one end and work his/her way around asking questions to everyone.  Advice- Don’t just memorize the answers when doing prep work. Understand the whole process as the professor may ask you for it in group discussion. They may even ask you to draw!
        3.  You will need to read a journal article that will be discussed in lab.  Same format as above in regards to group discussion.
        4. Conduct physical exams on local patients. Go over physical exams (included in lab manual) before lab. Sakai also has instructional videos on how to conduct physical exams.

        Side Note: Anatomy wet lab open 8am-12pm.  No appt. necessary with visiting professors.  Appointment necessary to be with in-house professors.  You have to be in  groups of 3 and can make a total of two appointments, up to 2 weeks ahead of time. 2 times for midterms and 2 times for finals allowed.  You can also walk in and stand with other groups, except you’re not permitted to talk because it’s not your appointment (don't be rude and take away the learning experience from your fellow peers).  Don’t wait until the last minute to go to lab (at this time, the crowds will be too big and you will have a more difficult time seeing and hearing the professors).  If you’ve been going to open lab from the beginning, you might be more prepared and decide to review on your own with some friends.  Go to available body parts and make sure you can identify the muscles/nerves/plexus/ganglion/neurons/blood vessels provided in your prosection manual.  If you can do this, you should be fine for the practical.


        *Format- You start learning the upper limb, thorax, and abdomen (covered for midterm). For final- pelvis, peritoneum, lower limb, head, and neck.
        *Brachial plexus seems daunting at first...but it gets easier with time.  Same can be said with the blood vessels in abdomen...and with everything in the head and neck.   Repetition is key...but so is doing practice questions in Grays Anatomy Review by Dr. Loukas.  Questions won't be the same, but the wording is similar.  The questions will make you apply your knowledge in a clinical manner.   Not all questions in the review book is testable material.  All information in lecture note packets and what professors SAY during lecture IS testable material. 
        *With lecture, they will start off every new region pointing out muscles on the screen (most of them supplied on notes). Brian feels like he really can’t learn this way because there are too many structures being identified in such little time.  Instead, he used Netters Anatomy book to learn himself.  He still watched lectures at home at 1.4-1.8 times the regular speed since professors sometimes say important points in between identifying structures.
        *You’ll be going over embryology- you don’t need to know all the steps involved.  Instead, you need to know what could go wrong in the process and the clinical outcomes.
        *Understand the function of all the nerves and what can result if there is a lesion in a specific area. 
        *Before midterm and final, the school posts pictures of slides online that they will test you on.  Use these slides to study.
        *Exam- ~2.5-3hrs for written and 25 minutes for web-lab. First ~30 minutes are slides- mostly identification.  Next, multiple choice.  Lastly, wet lab. You will be sequestered until everyone is finished with their exam. Expect to sit there for 3 hours after the midterm wet lab exam if your last name begins with an A. Things switch around for finals. If your last name begins with a Z, you will be sequestered for 3 hours.  See if you can leave notes in the room to study.

        HISTOLOGY (4 units)
        *you meet 1/week in small groups for lab potion. 8am-12pm. Lab slides given a week before. Structures are identified during lecture. Don't forget to notate what professors are saying on your packet. Need to know for lab.
        *lab- each person must present a specific number of slides in front of your group (~6 people in Brian's group). Clinical tutor in every group. Advice- make sure that you look over slides before lab and read lab  manual given so you can get the most out of lab. Learn during lab, not lecture because you get everything clarified.  Brian suggest printing out the slides and bringing it to lab for filling in and identifying unknown structures.
        *clicker questions at the end of every lab session reflects the degree of difficulty for the exams. After midterms, ¾ of your time in presenting slides and ¼ physical exams on patients.  2-3 weeks before exam, slides posted on Sakai.  You are only tested on these slides for the virtual portion of the exam.
        *exam- 150 questions. 60 slides/1 minute per slide. 2nd part is multiple-choice.
        *Final exam had many questions regarding the specific epithelium. Know them well! 

        BIOCHEMISTRY (5 units)
        *Up until midterm, you don’t learn too many pathways. For the final, there’s a lot of pathways to know.  They will ease up with material about 3 weeks before finals.  No more new pathways, just tying in most of the information you already learned into a clinical situation such as diabetes, hypertension, alcohol intoxication, fasting...etc.  All lectures a week before midterms and finals do not cover any new material (biochem, anatomy, histo).  For midterm not as much information was given compared to finals, but the midterm examination felt tougher than the final exam for Brian.  
        *Go over questions they post a few days before small group discussions at home.  There will be a clinical tutor in each lab group.  They go around your group asking questions for you to answer out loud in front of everyone.
        *Everything is fair game unless otherwise instructed. Meaning you need to know the big picture and all of the little details in between. 
        *You must know pathways/enzymes/co-enzymes/co-factors down COLD (unless they specifically state you don't need to know x..y..z..).
        *Make flashcards of the drugs after lecture so you won't waste time during studying to look for them. 
        *Brian only used the biochemistry book provided for clarification and to view diagrams.

        BIOETHICS (1 unit)
        -Class ends one week before midterms (total of 6 weeks).
        -A visiting professor taught 90% of class.
        -You’ll only be tested on what’s given to you in the supplied note packet.  You will need to know all of it, except the cases where you role play during lab. Don't forget to read articles found in the end of the lab manual.
        -You will meet once a week in a small group.  There will be a clinical tutor in each group that will go around your table asking questions.
        -At times, you will role play with given scenarios in front of your group.
        -This class was not difficult for Brian.  He studied the day before the final exam. He got an A.

        OSPE Exam Information for Saint George's University School of Medicine

        An Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE) is a modern type of examination often used in health sciences to test practical skill performance outside of the clinical setting. The OSPEs within this program will test your knowledge of image evaluation from technical and quality perspectives.  There are two OSPEs that will be given during your academic career at SGU.
        -1st term, it is taken one week before finals
        -They started implementing this test at an earlier time just recently due to a lot of students failing it in the past.
        -To prepare for the exam- read through all of your histology clinical lectures and biochemistry/anatomy diseases.  Also, be sure to know all the physical exams given in your lab manual.
        -Brian thought the exam was fair. This is not new info.  You should already know everything pretty well. He studied the day before the exam to prepare.  Brian got 20 out of 20 correct.
        -Practice questions Composed of physical and clinical diagnosis.
        1. Auscultate (listen to) heart valves - either aortic, pulmonary, mitral, or tricuspid. Lung lobes - Right (this one has three) and left lobes - know the outline from sternum/ribs to vertebrae level.
        2. Locate and palpate pulses - radial, ulnar, carotid, dorsalis pedis, or posterior tibial
        3. Testing extraocular eye muscles - superior oblique, inferior oblique, medial, lateral, superior, and inferior rectus. Know which nerves control specified muscle.
        4. Muscle test for cranial nerves III, IV, V, VI, VII, IX, XI, XII.
        5. Testing for direct/indirect pupillary light reflexes. Know the efferent/afferent limbs of the reflex in both eyes. 
        6. Percuss or palpate liver or spleen
        7. Testing knee ligaments or meniscus- medal and lateral collateral ligaments, medial and lateral meniscus, ACL or PCL
        8. Clinical case- Patient has high glucose, overweight, and lab findings indicating patient is diabetic (you will need to come to that conclusion based on knowledge of lab findings).  Picture provided of physical findings ie diabetic ulcers, swollen interphalangeal joints, muscle atrophy....choose the picture that correlates for the given lab values.
        9. Scenario given- patient has inadequate nutrition, deficiency in a certain vitamin. Picture shows legs bowed, bleeding gums, skin blotches, must diagnose based on given clinical information.
        -Link to another student's opinion of the OSPE
        -Below I included some details about the exam.

        Clinical skills objectives included in course syllabus for each Term 1 Basic Science courses.
        20 times stations with students rotating.
        OSPE scores contribute 11% to the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in year 2. 
        OSPE is mandatory.
        20 multiple choice questions - 9 anatomy, 3 histology, 7 biochemistry, 1 bioethics
        7 out of 20 questions requires performing clinical skills on patient. 
        Examiner at each station to evaluate your skill. Will inform you of specific letter to bubble on scantron.
        Don't talk with the examiner. 
        75 seconds per question.
        No extra time given to students with special accomodations. 
        You are required to take the exam next term if you missed the current one. 
        OSPE scores will be released along with your final grades for Anatomy.
        Dress professionally.
        Females must wear close toed shoes.

        Wednesday, December 7, 2011

        It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

        From my younger years into adulthood, Christmas decorating has been tradition.  I think the drive, excitement, and need of decorating spawned early on in Elementary school when I experienced Christmas at its best: as a kid supplied with free Christmas food, Singing Christmas songs, and making Christmas crafts, with no worries in the world. 

        I normally make trips to Walmart and Dollar Tree for decorations, but since there are none nowhere in sight here in Grenada (decorations are expensive here), I decided to collaborate with the child in me to make some Christmas decorating ideas come to life.

        I  listened to my favorite Christmas songs over and over throughout the whole process all the while thinking about fond memories of past Christmases.  Though I'll be far apart from family during the Holidays, I'll always have fond memories of our past Christmases to keep me connected to them.  They will definitely be missed during Christmas, but on the same token, I'm super excited to spend Christmas in a different country.  How often do you get to do that?

        The decorating component of Christmas is now complete. Check!

        I provided links to some tutorials I used in making my decorations down below.  Enjoy!!
        Koy Jermz, I decorated in honor of our tradition.  Miss you and the rest of the Family!
        Materials Used:
        Clear Tape (Bryden and Minors Spiceland Mall)
        Colored Pencils (8EC Byrden and Minors)
        Glue Stick (4EC Byrden and Minors)
        Construction paper (15EC Byrden and Minors)
        Popsicle Sticks (Starz located at Le Marquis)
        paper rolls from hand paper towels or toilet paper
        gift wrapping paper (6EC/1 roll) (IGA)
        ribbons enough for two wreaths (~5EC) (Starz located at Le Marquis)
        Christmas Lights (16EC for 150 Count) (hardware store Spiceland mall)
        Coffee Filters (4EC for 100) (IGA)

        Links to Tutorials

        *Christmas Candle
        *Snowman On A Stick
        *North Pole Sign
        *Christmas Crew Figures (Santa, Elf, Reindeer, Angel, Snowman, Nutcracker)
        *Origami Christmas
        *Paper Crane (dove)- Video tutorial. Online picture step by step Tutorial.
        *Paper Wreath- (Instead of using a glue gun to assemble flowers, I used a stapler (faster and easier). Pinch the middle of all three pieces and staple.  After all of the flowers have been assembled, Sew them on the wreath with a needle and thread or you can use a glue gun.

        My Friend Myra Made a Beer Bottle Turkey for our Thanksgiving centerpiece dinner table.  I liked it so much that I invited him to stay for Christma and made him a Santa suit.  As a matter of fact, I decided that I will dress him up accordingly for every Holiday from now until the day I die hahahaha. Thank you Myra!!
        Friendship Snowflakes. Made By Rachel (green), Grace (red), and Angela (yellow).

        Monday, December 5, 2011

        7 Sisters Waterfalls - I Came, I Saw, I Conquered.

         7 Sisters Falls is simply beautiful.  It's one of those places that makes one toss their arms out and shout out loud: "I love life."  I love this place so much that I even suggested for my family back in America to fly in and see it for themselves.

        For thrill seekers (try jumping a series of Waterfalls), nature lovers (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Setting), swimmers (under the falls in a nice and serene environment), hikers (scenic short and sweet moderate hike), kids (even if they can't swim they would surely enjoy the scenery), and photographers (beauty 360 degrees) alike... I without a doubt know you'd enjoy this spot (and yes, I'm speaking on behalf of all groups hahah).

        *Photos are ordered in sequence from start to finish.

        Meet the gang.

        At the beginning of the hike, you pass through a private plantation. You guide will point out to you native flowers and plants.

        Beautiful Bamboo
        Custom Made Bamboo Steps.

        Before the Falls, you will cross a line of rocks embedded in a stream. Be sure to store your cameras away in a dry and safe place as the rocks can sometimes be slippery.
        The first Jump. Behind the Scenes.
        Utopia behind the first two falls.

        The Last Jump.

        Trekking through our amazing waterfall adventure.

        We were cheesin it the whole time since we were so hyped.

        Scott and the Best guide ever, Cliffon! Don't forget to tip him if you hire him to guide you through the jumps.

        Rapids you have to cross if you decide to hike all the way up the falls.
        The main Jump.
        Me and My Buddy Myra Being Savage

        *Location: 5min past Grand Etang House . ~30min ride up a long and winding road from Grand Anse Beach (For those who get motion sickness easily, I highly suggest taking something before the ride up).
        *Getting there: by Public Transportation: Take the grand anse bus from SGU. Get off at Texaco.  Walk up around the corner to the local bus stop and catch the #1 bus St. George's (2.50EC) and take it all the way to the last stop.  Transfer to the #6 bus (5EC) to 7 Sisters; by Taxi- My group was taken by Hector (he charged 20EC per person). Friendly, relaxed, and trustworthy.  He gave us a little tour on our way to the falls.  Here is his phone number (473) 418-3444.
        *If you're visiting during rainy season, the trail will more than likely be muddy.  Wear shoes you don't mind getting dirty. 
        *$5EC entrance Fee. Walking stick provided.
        *Person at entrance is very unyielding when it comes to jumping off the falls (for liability reasons).  Despite the fact, Me and my friend Scott jumped them (with the help of an expert jumper named Cliffon.  He's a frequent jumper there and will be more than happy to guide you down the falls for $20EC a person).
        *Bring a plastic bag for your muddy shoes and your wet clothes (if you decide to swim).. and maybe some flip flops to switch into.
        *Don't forget your camera! I brought my underwater camera and had it with me the whole time throughout my waterfall jumping adventure.
        *Hike is approximately 25-40min to the bottom two falls, depending on how muddy and how fast you're moving.  There are a few declines on the way to the falls embedded with helpful bamboo steps and stones.  An additional ~15min for those who want to hike all the way up the falls (warning: there's only way way down: to jump)
        *Hike difficulty- easy-moderate; Exposure- half shade, half sun.
        *Don't forget to wear sunscreen. Bring a swimsuit and change of clothes if you decide to swim.  Also, don't forget to bring a snack to eat when at the falls.
        *Waterfalls (I can only remember crossing 5 of them) range from 10-35feet tall.  First few are easy and the last two are the tallest.  You also go down a short tunnel of rapids (the guide will show you where to step).  Scary but fun.  If you step somewhere wrong, you can get sucked in, pushed down, and hurt.  If you're planning on jumping, you first have to hike up the side of the falls ~15min.  The guide will advise for you to be barefoot as you will have more grip this way.  It was easy hiking up but scary because the hill was so steep.  My foot was completely submersed in 2 ft. of mud a couple of times... and it felt good!  Warning:  If you hike up and jump the first few falls, there will only be one way down, and that's down a really high waterfall!  Otherwise, it will be almost impossible to go back up the first few falls and back down the hill from where you came (very very steep). So make sure you're not afraid of heights.  Also, if you've never jumped a waterfall before (like me)  there's a big possibility of you landing the wrong way.  If you land the wrong way (flat) you can seriously get hurt.  It's easier said than done to land like a pencil with all the adrenaline pumping through your body.  When you fall from such great heights and land flat, you're not giving the water particles enough time to move and therefore it will feel as if you hit a wall.  I landed wrong and got a very very big bruise on my thighs. Regardless I have no regrets. It's one of the most exciting things I've ever done in my life!
        *Reviews on Trip Advisor