Batter up!

June 7, 2013 § 3 Comments

In 11 hours time I will be comfortably nestled in my exam seat in the lecture hall at school with my biochemistry semi-final before me. I don’t feel prepared – does one ever? – but I have done my best and I’m hoping the hard work will pay off. Embarrassingly enough, Skjalg and I figured out that I haven’t left the apartment since last Friday….which means I’ve had a solid week of waking up, studying, and going back to bed.

Jannie came over today to help me study. She had her biochem exam on Wednesday, so the material was fresh in her head. She went through lectures and tested me throughout the day while I went through questions from Lehninger (our recommended biochem book), then tested me on all 185 structures (of which I only made mistakes on 11!) and made some flashcards for me to review in the morning.

The exam is at 10:30 and the results will probably be ready at 13:00 or 14:00. After that, Skjalg and I are heading to an apartment showing near Deak. We’ve come across an amazing apartment and I’m really hoping that it is “the one”. After that Jannie will join us to visit the flooding Danube. ¬†The river is only a 5 or 10 minute walk from where we will be checking out the apartment.

I want to “publicly” wish congratulations to Skjalg! He had his anatomy exam today and got a 4 ūüėÄ With a 5 in Medical Communication and a 4 in Medical Biophysics, I’d say he is doing quite well for himself. I’m proud of you bebe ūüėČ You’re amazing!

Yearly flooding of the Danube

June 5, 2013 § 4 Comments

So, what happens when you’re locked up in your apartment for days at a time, looking at nothing but biochem notes and structures? You miss out on pertinent news – like the flood warning. For those of you that have been following the news, you might have heard/read about the flooding in Central Europe. It’s been really bad in Germany and Austria and has slowly been making its way to us. The Danube is the second largest river in the continent and runs through¬†Romania,¬†Croatia,¬†Serbia,¬†Bulgaria,¬†Hungary,¬†Slovakia, Austria,¬†Germany,¬†Ukraine and¬†Moldova. Since Budapest is built right on the banks of the Danube and is almost completely flat, it is quite susceptible to flooding.

The peak of the flood is expected this weekend or Monday. I’m crossing my fingers that I will be able to get to my exam on Friday! Though I don’t think that will be a problem since we live about 1 km away from the river. But then I don’t know much about floods….Our school is located a little closer to the river than our apartment, hopefully that doesn’t present a problem.


Here are some pictures from The Budapest Times. These were taken either last night or early this morning, when the river was just beginning its rise over the bank. One website captioned a photo with “yearly flooding of the Danube” which I found amusing and therefore decided to use it as the title of this blog post. You can follow news of the flood on The Budapest Times website.

Danube-flood-picture-01-e1370364116513 Danube-flood-picture-02 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA photo-1

Anatomy II and Medical Communication: Check!!

May 30, 2013 § 2 Comments

2 down and 3 to go! The past few days have been just short of crazy. On Monday I attended both the histology and anatomy consultation, lost my phone, and spent the rest of the day cramming for my exam on Tuesday.

The exam was divided into 2 main parts: dissection room and office. In the office portion we were asked 4 questions: 1 histology, 1 embryology, and two anatomy. Here’s what I remember from my exam:


– Given internal genitals and asked, “What is this?”. The bladder was huge and I was nervous, so I didn’t know at first, but after some looking I found the uterus. Once I found that, I had to identify the uterine tubes, name the mesosalpinx and mesometrium, identify the ovary and the suspensory ligament, then the round ligament of the uterus.

– To identify the sternocostal surface of the heart, the right coronary artery, the superior and inferior venae cavae, the coronary sinus

– To identify the quadrate lobe of the liver, the portal vein, the round ligament

– To identify the ureter and the vas deferens entering the deep inguinal ring

– To identify the thyroid cartilage, mylohyoid and geniohyoid muscles, retropharyngeal space, hypoglossal nerve


Histology:¬†For this one I got the human liver. We are given a random slide and have to identify the specimen and then explain the details about it. This was my weakest point. She had to remind me to mention the space of Disse and I couldn’t name the Toshio Ito cells (which aren’t in our book but were mentioned in class) or describe the pathological unit of the liver in enough detail.

Fetal Circulation: For this part, I did a drawing similar to this one. I had drawn the outline and then described the circulation while drawing in the blood path. I had to mention the ductus venosus and ductus arteriosus, describe the reason for the ductus arteriosus and the importance of it’s location and then what changes happen after birth and what the remnants of the different structures are.

fetal circulation

Anatomy I: For this part, I got the pancreas. I was really happy about this because it is one of my favorites. I drew a picture of the pancreas, stomach, liver, and duodenum and then included the ducts of the pancreas, Vater’s papilla and the minor duodenal papilla. I had to described its location, the blood supply, the passage of bile and the parts of the pancreas.


Anatomy II: My last topic was inguinal canal!! Such an amazing coincidence after posting about it in my blog last week. You never know what is going to pop up!

After anatomy, I had one day to cram for my Medical Communication final. These were the exam topics:


1. Basic definitions in communication and their role in medical practice: basic elements, axioms and levels in communication; verbal communication.
2. The role of non-verbal communication.
3. The role of active listening and the role of empathy.
4. Doctor-patient consultation.
5. Communication issues of patient information.
6. Patient education and shared decision making.
7. Convincing strategies in medical practice: learning theories and cognitive models;
8. Convincing strategies in medical practice: the role of arguments, behavior change model.
9. The role of suggestions in doctor-patient communication.


1. Communication with acute patient.
2. Communication with ill children.
3. Communication with elderly patients.
4. Communication with somatizing patients.
5. Communication with alcohol and drug addictive patients.
6. Communication about sexual problems.
7. Communication aspects with patients committing suicide attempt.
8. Communication possibilities in prevention and handling aggression.
9. Communicating bad news.
10. Telemedicine

For my exam, I got topic 1 from the A list and topic 5 from the B list. Here’s a little goody I found while studying for the exam. I had noted it down during one of the lectures.

Now or never

May 27, 2013 § 5 Comments

Anatomy exam in a little over 12 hours…not feeling good about it, but can’t pretend to know what the result will be. I’ve done my best and nothing I’ve learned was a waste of time. I’m closing out the night with a glass of wine to calm my nerves while looking over drawings of the urogenital system. Then its up at 8:00 for some histology review before my exam at 1:00. Wish me luck!

lungs art

Charlotte’s Birthday

May 25, 2013 § 5 Comments

In the midst of exam chaos, we all managed to sneak away from our respective study caves to celebrate an amazing person: Charlotte! Her birthday isn’t until Monday (I think…she’s apparently hidden it from facebook recently – sneaky girl!), but since most of us have exams this week, tonight was the perfect night.

We all met up at Arriba! Taqueria in Oktogon to surprise the lucky birthday girl.

Birthday Girl Charlotte's Bday

I was able to squeeze in a few more topics once I got home, but I’m starting to get nervous about the ones I won’t be able to review. All I can do is hope for the best! I am doing everything I possibly can, so I will have to be satisfied with the result. Tomorrow Jannie is coming over to study and help quiz me a little bit. She has her biochem semi-final on Friday, so she will be studying that while I cram anatomy.

The virtue lies in the struggle, not in the prize

May 24, 2013 § 2 Comments

Quote by Richard Monckton Milnes

Things are getting a little tense in my little study cave! As the date approaches I am getting more and more stir-crazy. I still have “a lot of time” but the more I learn, the less I feel I know.

This is where I live now…


It’s a mess…


and I’m finding weird ways to keep myself entertained…like baiting birds with bread on the windowsill. No takers yet…but I’m still hopeful.


In more exciting news, I left the apartment yesterday! And for several hours! Jannie had her anatomy exam (which went well) so I walked with her to school and quized her along the way. While she was doing her exam, I went up to the anatomy consultation. I was one of the first ones there, so I was lucky enough to get a whole cadaver to myself for an hour. I spent a little bit of time reviewing the urogenital system and then refreshed a bit of my gastrointestinal knowledge. After a while, some other students from my faculty arrived and we spent maybe an hour or so testing each other on various structures. Christian (from my group, not my younger brother) and I made plans to test each other on Monday at both the histology and anatomy consultations. We’ve sort of paired off in anatomy already and I’ve learned so much when we’ve tested each other during the practicals.

After Jannie was done with her exam we started the walk home and then decided to grab some lunch…and a celebratory glass of wine! It was really, really nice to check out of my cave for a little bit. I felt like I got a little refresh in the midst of all this study chaos. Once we were finished, I headed back home to my study spot and studied until a little past midnight.

Alright, enough of a break! Back to the papers sprawled out in front of me…

Paralyze resistance with persistence – Woody Hayes

May 21, 2013 § 5 Comments

That’s me lately! Persistent. It’s almost 19:00 here and I’ve been comfortably nestled in this chair since 8:30 this morning – except for a little break where I tried to take a nap. Let’s just say that didn’t work out…

I’m either suffering a sort of student Stockholm-syndrome or I’m actually really enjoying myself. It’s easy to do when you have little goodies like this hidden within anatomy – an anastomosis (joining of two blood vessels) called “Crown of Death”!


By setting off so much time to prepare for my anatomy exam (about 11 days), I’ve given myself the opportunity to really absorb the material. I sleep 7-8 hours a night and study from when I wake up, until I go to bed. I haven’t really left the house…I even scheduled a grocery home delivery through Tesco. For 900,- HUF (about 20 NOK or $4) they’ll deliver everything – and it all costs the same as it does in the store. We’re approaching true hermit status!

Yesterday Jannie came over to join me in my study cave. She has her exam on Thursday, so is understandably a bit more nervous.


Charlotte sent me this picture yesterday afternoon. It made my day! Only Charlotte can keep such amazing humor so close to an exam – hers is tomorrow! Wish her luck!!


If you are interested in where I got the drawings for the Crown of Death, it is from the end of this video (which can also be found on youtube). It is amazing for understanding the inguinal region and inguinal and femoral hernias.


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