Thursday, December 17, 2009

1/8th of a Doctor!

Finished my last couple exams about 2 hours ago. I think I did alright. It's been a long week and I'm glad I'm done.

Biochem exam. That was absolutely brutal. I barely passed though, thankfully. Enough said. For future reference, I'm asking a pharmacist - it's their job to know more than me in this arena.

I also shadowed my mentor, a pediatrician. Speaking of which, I got a position for a pediatric externship for the summer! It's actually a really cool program: 8 weeks, $2500, shadow a primary care pediatrician for 2-4 weeks, shadow 1-2 pediatric subspecialists for 2-4 weeks, and maybe some clinical research. The coordinator really works with each extern (there are 8) and tailors their experience to their interests, so I'm really excited for that! Anyway, back to the mentor shadowing. It's was alright, pretty much "bread-and-butter" pediatrics (strep throat season it seems). Learned some interesting things, but to protect patient info (not that I know them anyhow) I'll just mention some of the things I've learned:

- Be careful when diagnosing strep throat. Using antibiotics when it's viral won't help and may make things worse. Not using antibiotics when it is strep throat (bacterial) is dangerous - kids can develop rheumatic fever (which affects the heart) as a result of a strep infection.
- A lot of kids have innocent heart murmurs that go away spontaneously as they get older. No idea why that is . . . I should ask the next time I go in.
- Kids can be born with a cataract. And sometimes these cataracts don't impact vision at all.
- Kids can be born with 20/20 vision in one eye and 20/200 vision in the other. They have to wear an eye patch over the good eye to force the brain to "fix" the bad eye - they way they probably won't need glasses at an early age.
- A strep infection can lead to PANDAS, where they develop sudden-onset OCD (or other mental health issues). Treating the strep infection promptly can remedy the mental health symptoms. Who knew that mental health issues may sometimes have an infection as the root cause?

Mock lab practical. So after the biochem exam, and after mentor shadowing, I still had to go into the anatomy lab with about 100 other med students and identify stuff on the cadavers in practice for our exam on Wednesday. By this time in the semester we aren't really phased by the dead anymore.

But I'll say one thing: there was this body with the largest penis I've ever seen. Seriously, the head (more properly - the glans) was the size of like a jumbo-sized chicken egg. o_O Way to make all the living guys in the room feel inadequate, lol. In all actuality, we don't envy his . . . penile prowess. It looked way too large to be comfortable for his partner. The 2 girls next to me were like, "If I saw that on a guy, even if he was totally hot, I'd take one look and be like 'Alright, peace. See ya.' And run away."

I went to lab early to raise the body, only to find all the bodies already raised and arranged for the exam later that afternoon. Well, that just cut an hour's worth of sleep I could've gotten instead. :-/ It's very cold in the mornings here now. I'm talking single digit or below zero Fahrenheit. Brrr . . .

I did pretty well on the lab practical, only got 2 out of 46 wrong. Mildly annoyed I wasn't able to identify the pudendal artery, but whatever. One of the structures tagged was the vagina, and we had a discussion about it afterwards . . .

My labmates and I were discussing the lab exam. And one girl was like, "I know this is really really embarrassing, but was that structure the vagina? I've just never bothered looking at one in the hemi-section." We agreed. We thought it was too easy for it to "just" be vagina. We were all looking on our structures list to see if they were different parts of the vagina on there (yes, there are different parts like vagina vestibule or anterior vagina). But no, it was just vagina. And that made it easy. :-)

And this brings me to today. :-)

I set my alarm for 6:30am, so I could get up and study a bit more before my last 2 exams: anatomy written and human development (devo). I didn't get up until 6:50am or so, at which point I heard this NPR story on correcting lower limb defects (e.g. clubfoot, congenital displacement of the hip, etc) in Honduras. Seeing as part of the devo exam is on limb development and defects, I saw this as a divine sign to get up.

So yeah, the exams came and went. Weren't too bad, I hope I did better than I thought. I'm usually a pretty good judge of how well/poorly I do on exams, so I have high-ish expectations for these exams.

Alright, have to leave in a little bit to celebrate Michelle's birthday. Going out to lunch with her and other friends, then to her place for cake and wine. And later tonight, there's apparently a triple birthday bash somewhere in the city. I don't know the city at all, so we'll see about that. Could/should be fun though, and my labmate Leslie is planning it (as she's one of the 3 birthdays coming up). Maybe there'll be some interesting development(s) between now and when I go home Sunday morning, but don't bank on it. :-P


charlie said...

I hope that you did great, but I have no fear for you ;)

Anonymous said...

Anon MD:

Congrats on passing biochem! Remember the equation for success in medical school is "C=MD". Also remember: Q. what do they call the lowest ranked kid in the class at graduation? A. Doctor.

Enjoy the break.

Seth said...

Heh. Hope you did really well.. only 7/8th left lol!

James said...

All I have to say is "HURRAY!"

E said...

My, my, my, that was quite impressive. Someone of lesser intelligence or self-discipline would have been defeated, because that surely was no cakewalk. Lucky for you, you're smart. *Smile*

This is the speech I give myself after accomplishing something particularly difficult. I figured that you were more than deserving of it at the completion of your first semester in med school. I hope my humor is apparent. Congrats!!!!

Ron said...

wow the 20/20 and 20/200 thing was weird, i've never heard of it. that's interesting.

hope u did well on exams :)


Aaron said...

I've always found the vision thing very fascinating when I did my neuroscience! :)

And well done on the biomed. And meh, as long as u pass, I don't think u need to worry too much otherwise!!!! :D

Sorry I didn't have a proper chat with you last night!! Hopefully soon!! :) Be good and take care! Lots of love.

tracy said...

Yay! Congrats to you, Aek! You are now "1/8 a Doctor"...if i weren't so happy for you, i just might be the tinest bit envious...but n o t me...! Enjoy your break! :)