Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Hope We Never Stop

Just a forewarning, this post will probably be pretty long . . . Oh, and AD if you're reading this, go re-read my edits to this post please. :)
Last week during anatomy lab, a bit of cadaver juices spurted when cutting open some part. Someone said, "Ewww!" as we all jumped back a little. In response, a girl in my group said, "Ewww is good, I hope we never get used to this and stop saying 'ewww'."

I really really like my anatomy lab group. Since we're assigned to our groups alphabetically, it's sheer luck that my group is as amazing as it is. We almost always finish early and we don't have the problems that some of the other groups seem to be having. We've gotten into this unspoken groove and system.

At the beginning of each lab session we review everything we've dissected and identified the previous day. We don't move on until all 5 of us have got the structures down. The other guy in my group (JC-M) is an amazing dissector. Seriously, he's sooo good at cutting! He aspires to be a surgeon and I think he'll be a good one. I'm usually the "second dissector" because I can stomach some of the things that others in our group (*cough* girls *cough*) don't want to handle (they have a particular aversion to seeing scalp hair or touching the cadaver's hands). Unfortunately I'm not a particularly good dissector, because I tend to end up destroying some structure I really shouldn't (it's okay, we only need one good side dissected anyhow). My motto is: "We'll either find it or destroy it." It's all good though, because we generally switch off who's cutting and who's cleaning/tearing and work in teams of 2 people per side (the 5th person holds the anatomy textbook and helps us identify stuff or subs in for someone who's tired). We have 2 left-handed and 3 right-handed people in our group, so we can dissect at almost angle with relative ease. At the end of the lab right before we pack up and leave, we summarize everything we've dissected that day to make sure everyone has some idea of what we just cut into.

Yesterday we had to cut the spinous processes (the spiky part of the spine) off 5 of the vertebrae in order to see parts of the spinal cord underneath. When JC-M cut into the spine with an electric bone saw, it started to smoke. o_O The smell was awful. I had to move to another part of the lab room to just breathe. Yeah, bone-cutting is all JC-M's job, lol. We all stood pretty far away as he cut, for fear of being splattered by preserved spinal juices (yeah, gross right?). Anywho, I think some of the other groups are envious of us (and our cadaver with little body fat and pretty decent musculature).

Today we had the most ingenious way of dissecting the posterior (back) part of the upper arms. Whereas most groups left their cadavers flipped face down, we flipped our cadaver face up and dissected the forearms first. Then we crossed the arms up over the face, as if he were trying to block a blow to the face, and began to dissect the back of the upper arm. Several people came by and commended us on our creativity. :)
Genetics has been getting a bit better, we're actually talking about "real" genetics now. Though I still know like 80-90% of the material anyhow. Oh well, it's always good to review. Though yesterday, there were a few times during one of the lectures where the material was dumbed down so low that it was borderline wrong. I had to resist the urge to correct the lecturer but restrained myself, as that would probably be viewed upon unfavorably. At least I did really well on the first genetics quiz. :P

Today we had a case study presentation for cystic fibrosis. It was really nice to have a practicing clinican come in and talk about her experience with cystic fibrosis patients. At the end of her presentation she became a bit emotional for just a few seconds because one of her two patient speakers suddenly made a turn for the worst and was in the ICU with a low chance of surviving the day. She may no longer be with us as of right now. But to see the doctor affected that way, even momentarily, made me respect her all that much. That even after so many years, after so many patients with cystic fibrosis, that she can still be affected by the loss of a patient. It reminds me of a scene from the show Scrubs:

It is my sincere hope that we, as med students and doctors, never stop caring, never stop feeling, and never become jaded. The doctor left us with a great quote by Charles Dickens:
"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts."
A few other miscellaneous things.

There's this one course, "Foundations of Human Behavior," that we have to take. Many interesting things I learned in that course. For example (my numbers may be slightly off), something like about 25% of med students have seriously thought about suicide at some point, 11% have thought about committing suicide in the last year, and about 2% have actually attempted suicide. And about 400 physicians commit suicide each year. It's rather distressing and ironic that there isn't enough support for us as med students and physicians, in general - but it's getting better somewhat. To have a health professional with an illness is to be stigmatized and shunned by your own patients. Oh the irony.

Last thing. Because I've spent the majority of the last several posts on my recent foray into med school, I'm going to back off that for a little bit. I'm sure you're all wondering about the hotties that might be wandering the halls of the med school and anatomy labs, lol.

There are a few pretty attractive girls but I'm sure you don't care much about that, haha, so I'm just going to talk about these two guys that keep catching my eye. One of them is an M1 like me, but he sits on the opposite side of the lecture hall. :( I've talked to him a few times and he's really nice (one thing I've noticed is that pretty much everyone is really nice and helpful). He's a bit taller than me, blond hair, blue eyes, glasses that make him look endearing in a nerdy way. I'm pretty sure he's straight because I think he has a girlfriend, at least that's what it seems like on Facebook. The other guy is this M4 that helps us out in anatomy lab, because he's doing his sports medicine rotation and they come into the lab and help us out. He's really sweet, has a hot deep voice, slightly taller than me, dark hair, bright blue-hazel eyes, and an amazing smile.

Gah! If there's one thing I dislike about this med school it's that everyone is scattered everywhere. Because the med school is located in this tiny nowhere town just outside a major city, people don't live really near the med school. So when people go home, they go home and don't come back until classes the next day. So I never really see anyone outside of classes. :-/ It really is a bit like high school again.


Anonymous said...

So, you gonna ask that cute M4 out or what?

Jason Carwin said...

Good story about the anatomy lab. It actually sounds pretty interesting, and it sounds like you are enjoying it. I bet you are learning a ton.

El Genio said...

I'm finding the med school posts fascinating. Of course, I won't complain about hot guy posts either ;)

Aek said...

James: No, that's not happening, lol.

Jason: Haha, yeah I actually do learn a ton in anatomy lab. As for enjoying it . . . not really. But it's preferable to sitting in lecture for 3-4 hours a day, in the same lecture hall. -_- At least with lab you're interacting with people, living and dead.

El Genio: I'm glad you find my med school posts fascinating. :)

Steevo said...

so get a GROUP together for lunch? Or fri dinner. Make sure the group has a hottie. Duh!


s in c

Dave83201 said...

I really have no idea how you do what you do. I need only read one of your posts about school to remind myself I have nothing really to complain about. Your descriptions about your cadaver friend are giving me nightmares by the

And hey... who says some of us wouldn't like hearing about the attractive girls. Sheesh! Am I the only bi guy around here that will touch a girl?

Aek said...

Dave83201: What do you mean? It's not SO bad . . . yet. >.>

Next time I'll remember to describe an attractive med student girl for ya (perhaps the one I work next to on the cadavers). :D

cvn70 said...


I think the posts are fascinating really. And your group sonds good. We had a really good study group too we had one rule youhad to know how to sail and worked out for us

thaat group will help you out a lot s im glad to hear you all get along

take care and be safe