Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Anatomy: Check!

Monday marked the last day of my first semester of medical school. To end on a positive note, here are some of my favorite parts in no particular order:

- Surface Anatomy
I didn't anticipate how much I'd like finding things on my own body. Especially the muscles. To be able to sort of visualize what was beneath my skin was so cool. Everytime something hurts, I can't help but think about why? what nerves are there? what muscles are there? could it be referred pain? what arteries supply that area? Anyways, I feel like a huge nerd most of the time, but I kind of like it. No, I really, really like it.

- Applicable Learning
Yes, studying will always be studying. Which 90% of the time I don't want to start. But, once I do, the best part about medical school are all of the applicable tibibts that relate to the learning. Clincical correlates. For instance, learning about two different types of sensory nerves in the context of why we feel dull and often indescriable pain in our stomach and not a sharp, easy localized pain (unless our appendix has, say, ruptured). Answer: general visceral afferent nerves versus general somatic afferent nerves. Learning about the sports related injuries to better understand why this bone attaches to this muscle at this particular point. Or, why this joint is more prone to injury compared to another. Everything, well almost everything, makes so much sense! I love hearing about why things break and how they can or can't be fixed. FINALLY! No more of the straight facts. Our bodies are fascinating.

- Anatomy Lab...despite the small amount of free time I actually spent there
Looking at a hip joint on a generously donated cadaver totally beats the rotisserie chicken dissections I've done in the past...yes, you can see the amazing intricacy of a knee joint in your rotisserie chicken. Most people just aren't looking. Next time, look. : )

- Teaching English
One thing I have learned about myself is that I love to teach. I can't wait to teach people about their bodies as a doctor someday...but I've been preparing for that day in lab this summer--teaching English. One of my lab partners is from Vietnam. Now, I'm not an expert when it comes to pronouncing anatomical terminology quite yet, but when to use the word "suck" versus "sucks" I can do. One of my very important lessons: you don't say "I sucks" or "You sucks" and you also don't say "It suck." The 's' is crucial in the correct use of American slang. Your welcome Tung.

- Lectures, recorded and online
Who knew watching lectures online at 2x the speed could be so efficient?! Not me, until the last 2 weeks of class...In medical school there are so many resources. Too many really. But, this was one of their better ideas.

- My Rohen anatomy atlas (the perfect coffee table book and conversation starter!)
I love letting people see the insides of their bodies. Rohen has an anatomy atlas full of real cadaver pictures, not just computer generated diagrams. Most people don't really want to see at first, but once they see one picture, it's addicting. Soon, everyone always works up the courage to ask, "Does this book have the reproductive parts in it, too??"'s all very cool. I wish I could dissect myself and put it all back together. But, Rohen is about as close as I'll get until my surgical rotation. Once again, our bodies...super intricate and absolutely fascinating to explore. For those who have been so fortunate to have experienced the Rohen atlas on the coffee table, you know what I'm talking about. For those who haven't, come visit! and I'll show you!

- Acupuncture
In my opinion, it's not for everybody. After our first exam, we had the opportunity to try it out. It did nothing for me. Except provide a 20 minute time to rest, while the pins in my wrist and knee were a constant disruption--fortunately, I couldn't feel the ones in my head and feet. Here's what I'd say. If you have a headache, you take tylenol. It helps. If you don't have a headache, and you take tylenol, you wouldn't think it worked. I believe it works for some people, for people who are extremely stressed or in a great deal of pain, but otherwise, don't try to fix something that's not broken.

One last closing statement, everyone here is smart. Or at the very least, extremely dedicated. There's really no counting on other people to make you appear like you know what you're talking about. Either you know your stuff or you don't. I need to work on being a little more committed to knowing my stuff. I've taken advantage of the liberty that being a student has at times. But, next Monday, time to hit the ground running. Now, this week off, which is the final week of my three weeks of summer vacation (I know, I know, welcome to the real world) will be spent relaxing.

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