This week I started my emergency medicine month and I am a kid in a freaking candy store.
I’ve loved emergency medicine, or the concept of it, since I was sixteen years old when I first took a lifeguarding class. I did this so that I could spend my summers on staff at jewcamp getting tan instead of shepherding campers around, because I am lazy and vain. Continue reading
…Said no one, ever.
I know last week I wrote a fairly graphic account of what it’s like to do a pelvic and butthole exam for the first time. Also, there’s no way I can ever top that on this blog, so don’t expect it. We actually finished our reproductive unit before the end of April; the practice exam itself was just rescheduled till recently. Our current unit is called Brain, Behavior and Movement, and covers head and brain anatomy, neurology, psychiatry, and the musculoskeletal system.
When we finish “BB&M,” we’ll be done with first year and start rotations. Woof. Continue reading
This post is not PG. Just… yeah.
Up until this point, most of what we’ve done in medical school could have been taught as part of some unusually advanced undergraduate human biology or physiology major. Yeah, the heart and lung exams were probably out of scope, but learning about how the body works is still in the realm of possibility for someone not in medical school.
Until this week. The Exam That Shall Not Be Named. The genitourinary exam. Continue reading
As mentioned in a previous post, our physical diagnosis class has now moved from seeing simulated patients to performing physicals on real patients. Instead of talking to standardized patients in a videotaped exam room and getting feedback from an experienced medical student, we have graduated: now, we are responsible for seeing hospitalized patients, whom we know nothing about, performing a history and physical, and presenting the findings to a Real, Important Doctor.
That’s scary, by the way. Continue reading
This week, I have diabetes.
In a session this morning, our course director gave every man, woman, and needle-wimp (me) a glucose meter, a bag of syringes, and a bottle of saline that was to be our proxy for insulin. For the next three days, we are all Type I diabetics – the type that has to take insulin shots daily and before every meal. The idea is that we’re supposed to learn how onerous it is to be compliant with your medication when you live with this disease. Continue reading
We have a test coming up next week, and it is a huge one. Normal and abnormal stuff for hearts, lungs, kidneys, and blood. There is a lot of stuff that is supposed to go right and a lot of things that can go wrong. (See? I’ve been studying!) The test is three days long, starting on Tuesday.
Vomit. Continue reading
I’ve written quite a bit this academic year about our Physical Diagnosis class, including encounters with standardized patients. But starting in a couple of weeks, things change dramatically. Instead of practicing skills on standardized patients, we enter the hospital under the guidance of an assigned “tutor” to apply our lecture knowledge of the physical exam. Continue reading
The past two weeks have been hard, hence the absence. We’ve been chest-deep in cardiology – everything from normal functioning of the heart to congenital defects to arrhythmias to drug treatments. And we still have a week to go. One could say the amount of material is, uh, disheartening, but that would be a bad pun.
(No worse than the chest-deep one in the first sentence, but you didn’t catch that one, did you?) Continue reading
I’ve written before in “The First Patient!” that a major component of the medical school curriculum is the physical diagnosis course. PDX, as it’s called, is a long-term course that teaches medical students the hands-on skills needed to examine patients. It’s kind of important. Continue reading
When my grandfather attended medical school back in the day, students had very little (if any) hands-on training with patients until the third year, when they rotated through the hospital wards. Medical schools now recognize the imperative to expose their future doctors to doctoring early and often and many advertise “PATIENT CONTACT ON DAY 1!!” as a selling point for their institution, right next to the pictures of smiling attractive young people in white coats fluidly wielding their stethoscopes. Continue reading