Posterior Tubercles of the Transverse Processes of Vertebrae C1-C4

Levator Scapulae

Levator Scapulae

The posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of vertebrae C1-C4.

That’s the origin of the Levator Scapulae.

And that’s one of the many hundreds of things I am learning already, and have to remember for life. The mindset I have being in medical school is so different from the mindset I had as an undergraduate and post-bacc. When I was a post-bacc, I never thought that I was learning whatever I was learning to prepare myself to become a doctor. No, I studied what I needed so I could prepare myself for medical school. And although I enjoyed everything I was learning, I admit that there were some things that I skipped over because I knew it was not going to be on the test. And after regurgitating all that crammed information for an exam, I also admit that sometimes I asked, why slurp it all back up if I was going to learn it all again in medical school anyway? The whole goal was medical school.

Now that I am actually in medical school, my responsibilities as a student are different. Suddenly I am responsible to learn for the sake of my future patients, and my future practice as a physician. I have lives at stake, and my own career depends on me remembering what I learn now. With this pressure behind me, I’m not sure if learning becomes much more difficult, or easy. I could see it go both ways. An encounter of a phrase like “posterior tubercles of the transverse process” no longer makes me roll my eye, wondering why a teacher would ever make us remember something this “random” for a test. Instead, it now makes me smile, knowing that I have chosen a medical program that would teach me this. Knowing what a “levator scapulae” is no longer makes me feel nerdy. It makes me feel professional.

And that’s the whole goal now… to become professional.

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