Two Med Students Walk Into An Exam Room….

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

I Have Diabetes (For This Week Only)

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

Presentation Skills: Needs Work

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

My Heart Will Go On… Maybe

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