Week 8: Creature Of Habit

          As the bucket gradually filled with much of Summer’s abdominal organs, her abdominal cavity steadily emptied, revealing deeper abdominal and pelvic structures lying within. From her liver, gallbladder, pancreas, stomach, and spleen, to her small and large intestines, Summer’s digestive tract was carefully excised (VERY carefully, because one slight nick of her bowel would have resulted in a not-so-pleasant stench). Unraveling Summer’s small intestines revealed them to be greater in length than her full body size…pretty amazing. Finally, we located what we were searching for: two bean-shaped organs, no larger than three inches in length and two inches in width, Summer’s kidneys (really not as large as you might imagine). We were also able to more clearly identify the vessels, nerves, and muscles lining her inner abdominal wall, and we progressed as low as the upper portion of Summer’s pelvis, which we will be dissecting next week. Not only will it be important to learn the anatomy of Summer’s pelvic/reproductive organs, but those organs of a male cadaver as well. So, I expect next week’s lab dissections to keep us all very busy.    

          Although I spent much of this week frantically studying for my last two exams, most of our midterms and finals were last week, so, once again, we resumed covering new information in each class. This week, Behavioral Medicine focused on how to communicate with patients of varying cultural backgrounds and recognize how differing cultures and beliefs may impact the ultimate treatment options we offer them. We additionally learned how to effectively communicate with difficult patients (those who are angry, manipulative, impatient…etc). Gastroenterology (GI) and Infectious Disease (ID) both began this week (in place of HEENT and Dermatology). In GI, we focused on various available screening options for visualizing the GI tract (for example, colonoscopy, barium enema…etc), and why each test should or should not be ordered based on a patient’s complaints. In ID, we focused on bacterial infections (Cholera, Botulism, Salmonellosis…etc) and how to diagnose and treat such infections.  

          As for midterms and finals, I’m officially done…such a relief! My Physiology midterm on Monday went well, and my HEENT final on Wednesday proved to be the most challenging of all of the exams (between the two weeks). I have received grades on all but the HEENT final at this point, and I am very pleased with the results (even the results for the Anatomy lab midterm, which I was very nervous about!), considering how much time I spent studying/lost sleeping. I will undoubtedly be catching up on lost sleep this weekend and studying very lightly (relative to my midterm/final study mode, but probably just as much as I studied before midterms/finals…honestly, it’s just a habit now). I cannot believe that, as of this week, I am more than halfway through the semester. Only seven more weeks to push through…

Question of the week: This viral infection, associated with fever, sore throat, and swollen cervical (neck) lymph nodes, is also referred to as “the kissing disease.” What is the more formal name of this viral infection? 

By the way, how did you do on your midterm? Let’s see:

Midterm answers (in the order asked): Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation; Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, Throat; Skin; Summer; Three; Any six of these: Integumentary (skin), Skeletal, Muscular, Nervous, Endocrine, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic/Immune, Respiratory, Digestive, Urinary, and Reproductive; Gallbladder; False (it is the left heart valve); Appendix; Digestive

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