Saturday, December 25, 2010

Fall Semester: Finished

Well, the Fall semester of OMS 2 has come and gone - it was rather intense, neuro-musculoskeletal-other stuff. Next up is Dermatology, Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary, etc. Should be interesting - this is all the neat stuff. I think I will actually attend lecture this time because a lot of it is interesting stuff to me and I'd kinda like to get back into that. Right now it is Christmas time, and I'm home for a bit but mostly school is still on my mind. Board exams are coming up, so I have to take a diagnostic Step 1 for my boards prep course, which starts in January. Also, our 3rd year we start rotations so we had to rank and send in our requests for certain rotation locations. I'm trying to stay local, but so is most everyone else - most people are in relationships or have kids so it is a challenging position. We hear the results shortly after class starts again.

So...what with rotations, boards, end of fall semester, board prep courses, and trying to have some semblance of a social life, been quite busy. My other blog has been sorely neglected of late...hopefully I can get back to it soon. It seems I never have a spare moment to think even. For now, just trying to enjoy a few days off and plan a New Year's Party.

Season's greeting, everyone - stay warm and safe this holiday season!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fourth Week In...

Posting has been lacking due to the insane amount of stuff I have been up to - being a second year is no simple matter. Nor is moving. Anyhow, I am finally settled in the new place - which has a gorgeous view and is pretty darn spacious and awesome - because it is "technically" within Vallejo's city limits, it makes the property values a lot lower, so the rent is surprisingly affordable.

The start of this year has been centered on Neurohistology, Psychiatry, Cranial OMM stuff, and learning how to do more focused Physical Exams. We will be also doing an extra clinical experience at a retirement home to learn more about geriatrics and the problems that face that particular demographic. Neurophysiology is very detailed, so that has been taking up most of my time. Money is also super tight. However, our living area is great, my friends are close enough for us to visit regularly and for us to host things every so often, and school is closer, and I have a lot of time to study in the evenings. Not to mention the occasional social events like LAN parties or themed parties. Still have time to do a half-hour or hour of games a day - I need a nice way to de-stress, and the latest one, plants vs zombies, can be played with just a mouse, leaving my other hand free.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Almost time for school...

Well, my 2nd year is coming swiftly upon me - apologizes for the lack of updates, these last few weeks have been crazy. After Bolivia I went to the Galapagos Islands for a week with my family, then I came home and my boyfriend and I sorted stuff out and plan to move in together this fall. It'll be nice having him there, after a year of long distance. We had to look for apartments and budget my financial aid money, since I took out a bit less than I probably should have and so we don't have much breathing room.

Our first unit will be Neurology - so we get to learn brain functions, nerve stuff, etc. It is supposed to be really hard, so I'm glad I've had a sequence of Cognitive Science courses at UCSD. I have at least two textbooks I can refer to if things get too complicated. I am also reviewing old material from Semester 1 - I want to review old material and make flashcards for it at least once a week, since it'll be good practice for the USMLE/COMLEX when that comes around in the Summer (shudder).

I may continue my research on bacteriophages, I would like to, but we shall see. Also, since I took Medical Spanish last year and went to Bolivia, I now have a spot for an elective for fun, so I am curious what will be offered. Anyhow, tonight I drive back up to Northern California after spending the rest of the summer in San Diego - Kit will be following me up in a few days, but I have some meetings at school on Monday and that was our assigned moving day, so I have to get up there. I got a new phone too, a Droid Incredible, which is, indeed, quite incredible - I love some of the medical apps - particularly the drug interactions app. Really cool. It'll even tell you the details and why.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Third Week in Bolivia

Rather late update, I know, but I figure I shall update for the third week when I went in the mobile medical units. The first day I went up to a school where we did general health exams on the classes of kids - most were under 10 years old. They all had horrible teeth, some were malnourished and had herpes skin outbreaks, a few had upper respiratory problems, and we were checking their fingernails since parasites in fingernails is a big way they enter food. We dispensed two de-worming pills per student, and returned the next day to extract broken teeth beyond hope of repair. I even have pictures this time! Since I had been watching the examinations closely the previous day, I volunteered to help conduct the exams the next day, so I got to do essentially half of the kids. I hope they understood my accent well enough.

Another point about their teeth - a lot of them had teeth so bad that they also had abscesses...poor kids. A few less typical cases include...tonsillitis and bronchitis. All in all, it was a very interesting experience and gave me a chance to get some hands on experience. I listened to the kids with stethoscopes and was able to discern bronchitis (and we were just listening through clothing definitely let a lot of things slide when you're on the go in a third world country).

The next day in the ambulances was our last day doing hospital stuff and I went in the mobile unit that parks at various street locations and takes walk-ins for treatment. Most of them were all alcoholics or pregnant ladies, and the guys would stay and talk for 10-30 minutes at a time about their really boring, and I could understand what they were saying too. The stories just all sound the same after a while, and so we did very little actual medicine that day. The only good thing that came out of it was a female patient came by who had a mitral valve defect - mitral regurgitation - and we were able to hear the valve defect in the flesh so to speak. It was definitely more pronounced than the audio clips we had been given to listen to during our last examination.

That's about it for medical stuff in Bolivia - the next day we went to Lake Titicaca until Saturday, then I just hung around until Wednesday, when I got to leave for the Galapagos Islands with my family! I was so happy to return to the US when I finally got back - after being in Bolivia for 3 weeks, seeing familiar food, familiar settings, stores, etc. felt great. Anyhow, I shall soon begin posting on the various medical conditions I saw or heard about in Bolivia. Until then, off I go.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Second Week In Bolivia

Well I am into my third week now, but this post shall mostly be about last week. Last week was...interesting. I will briefly describe the weekend - we went first on this crazy hike up to the Muela del Diablo. It was quite neat. The next day we went on a bike ride, something like 55km down the Worlds Most Dangerous Road. Ended up going down from bout 14k feet to 3.5k feet into the rainforest where there was an animal sanctuary so there were lots of really friendly monkeys, birds, etc. Some insects too. No pics, alas, since these computers dont have memory card readers.

Anyway, Monday was fine, I followed Dr. Fernandez around for a while. Tuesday was more of the same. Wednesday I shadowed in Obstetrics and Gynecology, since we were all switching locations on Wednesday and I was absolutely miserable. Cannot stand OBGYN. First off, the sight of pregnant women, babies, breast feeding, etc. is definitely NOT my thing. Next, I know very little about pregnancy and complications. Finally, all the doctors spoke super quietly so it was near impossible to understand anyway. Then Thursday I tried to hang out mostly in ER but that got kinda boring, since it was mostly UTIs and women with abdominal pain. Friday we were going to leave early to go to Lake Titicaca for the weekend, but one of the guys in our group was feeling pretty ill from some bacteria, so had pretty bad GI upset... so we ended up not going. Me, the doctor, and the other girl in our group went shopping for souvenirs and went to the Coca museum, which had a lot of interesting information about the history of Coca in Bolivia and the world. Saturday...three was more souvenir shopping. As was Sunday, but we also watched a lot of partidos de futbol! Wednesday we had gone also, but it was just a local game and there was not as much skill as in the world cup. It is a pretty big deal here.

Anyway, this week we are spending mostly in the mobile units, checking out schools and kids in the streets. It is pretty neato, but I will do a full report later, since we have only done this for one day so far!

Friday, June 4, 2010

First Week in Bolivia

I would have written sooner but it's a little difficult to find time among all the things we are doing. We got in on Sunday morning at about 6am after flying to Miami and then La Paz. A lot of flying. Very long flights. We were met by Mr. Gonzalo who is our liason/coordinator for the volunteering we are doing. He helped us get a taxi which took us to our homestay. We are on the fifth floor of an apartment complex and staying with a woman named Olga. She speaks essentially no English but among our group of three (Nourah, Me, and John), Nourah and I usually are able to make sense of things. We were considering taking Spanish lessons, but we placed as intermediate/advanced so we weren't sure it'd be worth our money. Anyway, we napped that first day, then met Nathalie, one of our professors, at a coffee place in one of the plazas. We then explored the area a bit, did some shopping, that sort of thing.

The next two days were kind of a blur of meeting with Gonzalo to discuss the cultural and social climate here in Bolivia, discuss our role in the hospital, how we can contribute, that sort of thing. We also were joined by a physician from Touro, Dr. Mokari, who is hanging out at the hospital with us. We visited the hospital and were introduced to people but didn't stay long enough to do much else. Then we returned, have been eating out a lot and getting drinks, that sort of thing. We saw Prince of Persia the other day in Spanish, have gone on two bus tours, and the like. We're starting to get a pretty good feel of the city, including which taxis and minibuses are sketchy.

First day in the hospital I chose to follow an infectious disease epidemiology specialist - of course - and we saw four cases of Dengue fever (apparently really unusual for this time of year), a case of gallbladder stones, and then discussed the etiology, causes, diagnostics, treatments, etc. Today I saw a patient with tuberculosis, got to look at his X-Rays and auscultate his chest. It was really interesting. I was also shown around the SUMI office, which is insurance for low income individuals and they keep tabs on the most significant infectious diseases or conditions including yellow fever, leishmaniasis, rabies, influenza, tuberculosis, dengue, AIDS, hanta virus, polio, rubella, measles, etc. We're going to do a survey on Monday, and this weekend our group is going to do a biking trip to the rainforest, hopefully! Until then!

Monday, May 17, 2010

First of the Last Tests

Well, today we had our last anatomy test - yesterday I went to the Bay to Breakers event in San Francisco, so my head wasn't quite as into the test today as I'd have liked, and I wasn't nearly as prepared as I could have been. If I pass, I'll be satisfied.

In the meantime, we have three days of Jewish holidays this week AND on Friday's we're not allowed to be tested so we don't have any tests until Monday. They will be rather intense, and I'll need to do some practicing of various techniques for OMM and doctoring, among all the basic science and medicine studying, but at least I don't have too much exciting stuff planned, besides maybe watching a video or two and study breaks to hike. Gotta mix it up a bit or I'll go insane, after all.

Anyway, I need to rest my head - yesterday was insane, and I wish I were updating things more...there will probably be a decent number of updates once I go to Bolivia - leaving on May 29. I got my vaccinations, but I do need to fill my prescriptions...hmm...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Hurdle

Well, just finished a pseudo-midterm - feels like I've been doing nothing but study lately - and in my spare time, computer games. I really need to get out more and exercise... Feels like I'm trying to do a million things at once, but I guess that's nothing all that new. I can't believe I'm almost done with my first year of medical school. It's rather intimidating because sometimes I feel like I've learned a lot, and other times I feel like I haven't learned anything. Now with the midterm done, I plan to just relax as much as humanly possible between now and Saturday night - Saturday we have a semi-dance thing on campus, it's a fundraiser for the group that is going abroad to Ethiopia and Tanzania. Unfortunately they're more established, better organized, and have the Global Health program director in charge of their group, so they have been putting on a lot more events than my group (Bolivia) and the Taiwan and Israel group.

The latest stuff we have been studying is all the respiratory illnesses - mostly those that cause pneumonia, bronchitis, that sort of thing. There was a section on pediatric illnesses and upper respiratory problems, which was okay. I'm not a fan of babies in general, and learning about the millions of ways that babies can turn out wrong frustrates me, since there are no laws permitting parents to relinquish their responsibilities for an incredibly unfit offspring. Definitely a controversial view, which as far as I'm concerned will only apply to myself and my future offspring, not the patients for whom I care (so don't worry), but human societies have practiced infanticide since before they were even humans - all animals practice infanticide if they do not have the resources or the animal is too unfit to survive and care for itself. It seems a crime to force parents to spend say, 5 years of their lives caring for a child that is 99.99% doomed to die - that's 5 years in which the child will be suffering, becoming progressively more mentally retarded, and slowly wasting away until its inevitable demise. It's an emotional drain for sure, not to mention a financial drain on the parents.

Like I said, I know it is my duty as a physician do everything in my power to keep a patient alive, and I will do that wholeheartedly - I just don't want to end up a slave to any offspring I produce with conditions that are incompatible with life for which medicine can offer no acceptable end.

In other news, still doing bacteriophage research. My medical Spanish classes have picked up again, so we're practicing those and we have our practicals next week. The trip to Bolivia is essentially ready, though I still need to get all my vaccinations...mental note: call the travel center. OMM is going well, I suppose - we're learning the high velocity, low amplitude techniques (the cracking techniques). I've had mixed success with them, so I definitely need more practice. Thank goodness we don't need to make an audible crack for it to be 'treated' - otherwise I don't know how we could get anything to treat during a practical after we've been practicing on each other for days.

Still working on balancing personal life with school, but everything's a work in progress these days... Now for the joy of computer games!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring Break

Hooray for spring break and being done with blocks exams for the time being. I ended up going to Monterey for a week, and then down to San Diego for the remainder of the passover time we have off. I have done essentially no medicine-related stuff all break - a welcome change and break for my brain. Looks like we get to start out with venipuncture and the respiratory system next block. Makes sense, as we just covered the cardiovascular system. It should be interesting.

In other news, we're needing to raise some money for the Bolivia trip (as in, get money to buy supplies for the hospital, mobile unit, and for the impoverished down there). I'll be returning to my research soon enough, and want to exercise a bit more so I'll join in the weekly karate class and do pilates on the side. I also got a LASIK checkup and my eyes are still healing perfectly and there are no complications. I also need to start making my own food more often - as much as I like letting my parents cook everything, sometimes I really prefer my own cooking. Anyhow, back to enjoying the last couple days of leisure that I have...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Semester, Block 2

Next week is our second block of exams for spring semester - it will mainly focus on the heart and related diseases. So...that includes hypertension, angina, valve disorders, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, pericarditis, cardiomyopathy, etc. AND their pathologies, drugs, treatments, and more. Fun times...over a hundred drugs to learn, again. There's some OMM stuff to learn in there as well, specifically tender points and some cranial technique theory. I'm interested to learn cranial - supposedly it's really good for headaches (among other things...). Here is the first 1/4 I have completed of my study board:

Today is St. Patrick's day, so it won't be long before we medical students, once again, imbibe alcohol and kill our livers and brains counter to the advice we're required to give our patients. I guess alcohol isn't quite as bad as the McDonald's lunch I had, but hey, my BMI is 21, my system can take a few hits for the greater good. (Hears Dr. Clearfield's voice in my head..."Even people in their 20's, who look perfectly healthy, can have early and even middle-stage coronary artery disease and atheromas in their arteries"...oooooo...scary).

More and more, I realize how much I want to specialize in Infectious Disease. The fact that the thought of a lecture on anything related to bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites is enough to brighten my week is sure sign enough. I'm really amazed at how little surgery or other superspecialties appeal to me - cardiology? Meh. ER? Nah. Surgery? Too many hours standing over someone's guts while nurses wipe sweat off your face. I have the hand dexterity, focus, and attention to detail to be a surgeon, as I've been told many times, but it just holds no interest. Gimmie someone with a bug in them! I'm going to send a letter to an Infectious Disease DO to see about shadowing - as much as I love infectious diseases, I know very little about what an ID specialist would actually DO. Hopefully I'll mail that out and hear from her soon!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bolivia and Research

Things are progressing as usual at school. We're studying drugs for treating hypertension, dyslipidemias, arrhythmias, angina, etc. Essentially this is the phase where we learn how to treat the diseases in the renal, cardiac, and respiratory systems, which we learned about last block.

In the meantime, I've gotten started on some research, fortunately with the same professor who is going to Bolivia with us. I'm glad I am on good terms with all the faculty so far - I have heard of a few students who think certain professors dislike them, and I haven't gotten that vibe from anyone yet, so hopefully I won't. The research is related to bacteriophages, as I mentioned before, and we will be growing bacteria (Salmonella) and determining under what conditions their bacteriophages become most activated to the lytic phase (where they reproduce themselves and lyse their host cell, looking for more hosts, compared to the lyosgenic phase where they lay dormant in the host cell's DNA). The professor I am working with, as well as others in the lab, seem to be really laid back, It's kind of a "when you can help out, come on in - put your studies first" situation. After the high-stress environment of working in a hospital laboratory, and even the strict environment at UCSD, this is a welcome change.

Also, the Bolivia trip is beginning to materialize more. We are about ready to book our flight to La Paz, are going to put together a presentation of pre-research about Bolivia, and are getting materials ready for the trip. I'm very much looking forward to the experience - Spanish immersion, health education, learning how to diagnose and possibly treat diseases we rarely will see here in the US. Anyhow, back to studying.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fun and the Future

Even with so much to do, medical students can still have a little fun. The last weekend I went to a house party, with drinking and silly stuff, then to a shooting range, then a BBQ and a turkey dinner, and then played computer games all night. It's nice to know that we can kick back occasionally, but we better enjoy it now, because it's going to get a lot worse. The number of drugs we need to memorize is steadily adding up - I wish I knew them all as well as I know drugs like tylenol or omeprazole, typical OTC drugs that I've known about most of my life.

We're getting into hypertension lectures, angina, coronary artery disease (CAD), congestive heart failure (CHF) and similar problems. It's funny, with all the talk about eating healthy, and how CAD can be seen as early as in teenagers or people in their twenties - the food I'm craving the most right now is fast food. I haven't craved it in ages, but here we are.

Every so often, the curriculum at our school throws in a "Managing Stress" class, where we are told ways to deal with stress, as well as the kinds of stress we are going to encounter (which of course gives us a lot of stress right then and there). Today, the doctor teaching the class was talking about how the first two years of medical school are a breeze compared to third and fourth years when you begin your clinical rotations and have to use whole different sets of skills (communcation versus booksmarts). Then she went on to say you think rotations are bad, wait til residency - where there will be hallways or stairwells essentially devoted to hiding and crying when your attending shouts the crap out of you. I imagine something like Dr. Cox from Scrubs, except no one is laughing. She then added how even then, you start your internship somewhere and it's just as bad - with more power comes more responsibility, which comes with more and more work. It's like being spider man except that everyone knows where you live and you're expected to work 16 hours straight.

As she talked about us being on rotations or in residencies, I couldn't help picturing how some of my classmates would be during rotations - getting picked on by the attending, or stepping into a patient room with an air of authority and asking them what the problem is and trying to help. Now that I know more about a doctor's thought processes, and my classmates' strengths and weaknesses, it is hard to picture myself as a patient of theirs - putting my problem in their hands and trusting their judgment. Though, in my mind at least, I always picture my classmates looking very proper, professional, and knowledgeable in these situations. I suppose that means I have a good amount of respect for my peers as future physicians and human beings (well, most of them - there's always a couple you wouldn't want as your doctor). Hopefully I'll pull everything together and become as awesome a physician as I picture most of my peers becoming.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Studying, Advocating, much to do

Well, spring semester has been coming on fast and furious - been extremely busy. Have also had tests every other week, essentially, and our first Block exams of the semester are next week. We have had two standardized patient encounters with our small group - where we must take histories and perform a physical exam. It's amazing the things you notice yourself and your classmates doing when interacting with patients - strengths and weaknesses, the importance of listening... We have also practiced doing SOAP note write-ups (subjective, objective, assessment, plan) and worked on differential diagnoses. The ailments of the patients are in line with what we are learning, so we can apply what we learn clinically.

Tomorrow we get to explore a new aspect of the physician-patient relationship - breaking bad news. We will have 12 minutes to break bad news to a standardized patient who has been trained on how to react convincingly to the news, including shouting or crying. We will be faced with one of these: a son whose father unexpectedly died, a woman with a suspicious breast lump who needs a biopsy, a man with inoperable pancreatic cancer, a childless woman who just had a miscarriage, and a man with an STD from an affair. Should be interesting and nerve-wracking - but I imagine it will be more difficult for some of my colleagues than for me. Working in the lab, I definitely got to deal with very angry patients, and one woman I drew as a trainee had just learned her husband was going to die - that was a difficult one. You really don't know what to say to a stranger who suddenly starts crying, especially when they're still holding back so much pain and you know almost nothing about their situation. I almost cried myself that time - but sometimes all you can do is squeeze a person's hand to let them know you're there with them, even if it's for just a moment. I'm usually someone who insists on a 3 foot personal space bubble and never hugs people unless they're family (and even then not so much), but somehow I was able to recognize that at that moment, she really needed to feel physically that someone was there with her. If you're really with them, and not just going through the motion, time almost seems to stand still for you both in a good, or at least meaningful, way. They say, "You can touch patients during a bad news situation if you think they would be okay with it," and you kind of wonder, "How will I know if they would be okay with it?" Well, that was one of those moments, and I could definitely tell even with no experience - though my rule is that if in doubt, it's better NOT to touch.

On a more positive note, last Thursday we were bussed by the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California (OPSC) to the state capitol to speak with assembly members and fellows about the recent merger between the Doctor of Osteopathy and Doctor of Naturopathy boards. Essentially, bill AB X4 20 merged the boards because the governor wanted to make it look like he was cleaning up the government - busting excess bureaucracy and saving money. However, both our boards are funded by those in the profession, no tax money is involved, and they approve licenses as well as oversee malpractice issues. NDs do not prescribe medications without supervision (and even then, no category 2 drugs) nor do they perform surgeries - so having them oversee us, or even have us oversee them, is not fair to either profession. I was the designated group leader to the assembly member whose fellow we spoke to because apparently I live within the district (14). Definitely nerve wracking, but everyone seemed to think I made a very eloquent case. The fellow we spoke to seemed very supportive of our cause. One of the senators (Lee) has submitted two goldenrod bills to his boss for approval, which we need in order to get numbers on them, support, and signatures. It was really enlightening to see how the process works in state government, and that people in the offices actually will listen to you and you can make a difference. We also got to speak to one of the governor's aids right before he was going to a meeting with Mr. Schwarzenegger himself, with the promise of at least mentioning the issue with him, so that was exciting. There were a bunch of school children outside of the governor's offices as we walked in and they were all asking us to say "Hi" to the governor for them, ask for more money for schools, it was adorable. All in all, a very exciting day - here we all are in front of the capitol building!

Also, on one final note, the founder of Touro University, Bernard Lander, last night at the age of 94. All the Touro campuses were closed out of respect. I don't really know what to say about it, as I never met him or knew much about him before now, but I am kind of wondering how it will affect the universities. At the least, I was productive and used the day to get more caught up on classes.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Latest in Whiteboarding

Well, I'm trying to catch up on all my anatomy, but more will certainly follow - I need to work on respiratory material that we're starting to learn, put up some OMM diagrams, and maybe some useful doctoring notes. As we go, though, I feel like there's material we already learned that is slipping away from me! It is so much material, I'm definitely going to have to do some studying over the summer somehow - I hate that I try to remember stuff from first semester and some of it is already disappearing. Tomorrow is Monday, which means 8 hours of lectures, so I have to be sure to bring a decent sized lunch. Also, there's a basketball game between our class (2013) and the second years (2012) - hopefully it will end better than the last game between our classes...

Apologizes for the quality - I have not yet found a decent way to photograph my whiteboard

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Post-Mini CVRR Exam...

Well, since the last post, so much has been going on that I haven't had the right state of mind to study...what with the first week of school and seeing everyone, coming back from winter break, and having a party/Gala packed weekend. So, alas, my studying last week was essentially nonexistent and very little studying was accomplished when I visited Kit over the weekend, so I ended up doing an all-nighter last night and I am feeling the pain right now. Anyhow, hopefully tomorrow I'll wake up feeling more energized and be able to charge back into studying!

We've been getting into more detailed cardiovascular exams, dissecting the heart, learning about the heart and various ways of looking at circulation. We're starting the respiratory system now but I want to go back over the circulation stuff a bit since I feel like I probably missed some of the details during my rabid speed studying last night. Hopefully will be having some normal fun this weekend, make some headway on my studies, and feel all prepared for next week.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Awesome Anatomy Lab!

Sometimes you have a really fun time learning things - when you get quality time with professors, they don't seem rushed, and you have prepared, you can get really involved in the active learning process. We had small groups today, and were examining the inner thorax, mediastinum, the lungs, and the heart. There are so many knowledgeable professors, it's great! Also, all the information was being absorbed in my head like a sponge, and becoming more cohesive.

Some of the highlights include finding essentially all of the key terms we needed, learning how to insert a tube through the rib cage to remove air or fluid, following the arteries and veins into and out of the heart, and getting information about x-ray films of the chest. This was quite a fun lab. It also helped my studying - I updated my whiteboard. I barely have any room left for tomorrow's material, or the heart stuff from today, but nothing we focused on today was particularly new. Unfortunately there were a lot of graphs, so I probably need to memorize and understand those...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Week 1 Has Begun!

Well, Week 1 is well underway, starting the cardiovascular system. We opened up the thorax on Monday, peeled away the skin on the chest, saw the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, external intercostales, deltoid, subclavian muscle. Also the rib cage, the sternum, manubrium, clavicles, etc. I also dug around and found the subclavian vein, cephalic vein, axillary vein, axillary artery, and brachial plexus. Next we took out the ribs (bone saw) and observed the lungs, heart (still in pericardium), a bit of the trachea, etc. One of the other cadavers had severe lung cancer - he had bulges the size of golf balls on his lungs and the interior of his ribs were black on that side. There was also a male cadaver with breast cancer. On one of the cadavers I was able to see the right and left vagus nerves and the left phrenic nerve also.

I have been making good use of my new giant blackboard - as for OMM we have started the pelvic area, learning landmarks, anatomy, and lateralization tests. I'm glad I had a girl partner for the first one - I'd rather not feel stuff for the first time on a guy - least now I know what to look for and won't feel like I'm groping around their crotch and butt aimlessly. The science lectures are all about how the heart works, mostly action potentials right now - which I have learned multiple times - AP biology, then cognitive science 1, 10 and 11, then in some biochemistry classes as well, and now here. At least I have some fun stuff planned for the end of the week - a party and the shooting range. Seriously, medical school is way more fun than undergrad was! Oh, and also my disbursement check is ready at the financial aid office - I need to get it tomorrow and figure out my budget for the Bolivia trip - if I have some extra money, I may go to Convocation. If not...well, there's always next year.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Spring Semester...

Monday is the first day back at school, and I am not particularly looking forward to it. I just got rid of my year-long writing block so now I want to work on that! Alas, it will have to be put aside. It looks like we're starting in on the cardiovascular system, and will be dissecting the chest wall, the heart, etc. I don't really want to go back to the anatomy lab... One more weekend to enjoy freedom before entering the grind of school again. I won't have a break again until spring break, and then not until I get back from Bolivia. I think I'm going to pass on Convocation this year, simply because I already have one expensive trip planned. Maybe next year I'll go. Anyhow back to enjoying the last break I have for months...