So, as I was sitting here with Dr. Kandel’s massive Principles of Neural Science (excellent text, by the way; he does for neuro what Costanzo does for physio), I thought:
“Hey! I actually understand why GABA channels are inhibitory and glutamate receptors are excitatory! And therefore how barbituates work!”
You must forgive me for the exclamation points. These moments of total clarity are far between in med school, where I usually feel like I’m about ten steps behind where I need to be.
Back when I was a starry-eyed undergrad having crises about med school vs. grad school, several people explained to me that the difference between the two was that med school is all about memorization, and grad school is all about integrative thinking. Although there is a great deal of memorization in med school (especially for anatomy), it’s mostly in terms of learning a new vocabulary. Kind of like having to memorize all those axioms for geometry in middle school. Once you have the basics down, things actually do start to make sense. Sometimes.