by Sr. Margaret Anne Meyer MMM USA 02.10.2023
Just the head and neck. This is what we thought was ahead of us as the Second Medical Year began in October 1961. It would not take a full academic year but oh, how intricate the head and neck turned out to be in the next five months. I can still see the delicate dissection of the Eustachian Tube connecting the middle ear to the back of the throat. What a marvel to behold in God’s creation of the human brain! How much knowledge and joy we are able to deduct from all the senses around us through sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. At the same time, we were learning the Physiology of how the brain kept all these functions going so smoothly.
Embryology became more difficult to comprehend and we struggled to understand the original cells which made the heart and the body so small and yet so complete. We managed to comprehend enough to get by.
Biochemistry classes were still held in the College of Science, and we rode our bicycles there every day. We also found time to study in the library. All our textbooks were there, and we used our time well. There were three of us and we had one up to date textbook for each subject in our House of Studies in Rosemount, so we took turns with them in our nightly period of study which was until 11PM
Some evenings we stayed later at Medical School to attend the Medical Club where lectures were given on various subjects. It was heart breaking to see the beautiful pictures of the thalidomide babies. We were told to look at their beautiful eyes, the mirror of the soul. We felt so sad for the baby lacking arms or legs, and doubly sorry for the mother. Dialysis and renal transplants were also beginning to take place at this time. I remember being told about a young lad of eighteen who had a kidney transplant, but his body was rejecting it. We had not started our clinical visit to the hospital yet, so I never met him. All he wanted to eat was Kit Kat candy bars. Now if I see a Kit Kat bar, I say a little prayer for him.
Christmas was very enjoyable that year. On Holy Innocents Day, Sisters Vera Fitzgerald and Mary Therese Martin put on a pantomime of the Spinning Wheel Song. The music was beautiful and so was the acting. Mother Mary, Sister Julie Urban, and any other American in the Motherhouse came down for the day and enjoyed the lovely meal and show with all of us in Rosemount. Sisters Maureen Mc Dermott, Sheila Berthiaume and Mary Molloy had started Pre Med that pervious October.
The holidays went by too quickly and we were soon in the final stages of preparing for the final Second Medical exam. We said a loving and prayerful goodbye to our cadaver which had served a group of eight of us so well. God helped the three of us to pass and move on to Third Medical in March 1962. We looked forward to that so much because now we would be assigned to work under doctors and attend rounds with them and get to learn how to examine patients. No, not all at once but each day was quite an exciting journey and that is another story.