Week 28: Once In A Blue Moon

          It finally happened: an entire week without big exams and stressful studying. Of course, as predicted, three pop-quizzes filled this once-in-a-blue-moon large gap between exams, but only one of the quizzes was truly unexpected (the quiz on Monday, the day after Easter…you know, the day after the first Sunday of the semester that I actually took a break from work). But, with only two weeks of classes remaining, there’s no time to complain…

          This week in Clinical Lab Medicine, we learned how to diagnose and interpret the lab results of cultures sampled for bacterial, viral, and fungal infections (and how to treat the infections after interpretation of the results). The lecture was a good review of the Infectious Disease specialty covered last semester, but just condensed into four hours (instead of seven weeks). In Pharmacology, we continued to focus on cardiovascular drugs (diuretics, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers…etc), and when the use of each drug is indicated and/or contraindicated. In Nephrology, we focused on the diagnosis, staging, and treatment of kidney failure (both acute and chronic). Next week we will be covering renal malignancies, so that lecture will undoubtedly relate to personal family experiences endured not so long ago.

          Next Friday will be the second of the two standardized patient labs of the semester. Like the patient lab earlier in the semester, I will have two patient appointments, twenty minutes each. The patients are likely to visit with chief complaints pertaining to the respiratory, cardiovascular, and/or gastrointestinal systems. I’m assuming this, since these are the systems that we have most recently learned how to examine. Maybe the patients will present with a cough, or chest pain, or persistent diarrhea? It’s difficult to predict this time around because there are so many potential complaints for each of these systems. Stay tuned for those two stories next week!

          It’s official: May 15th is the last day of classes for this semester. That day cannot come soon enough. Only seven final exams (and likely a few more pop-quizzes) stand in my way of that day.   

Question of the week: Is furosemide (Lasix) an antibiotic, diuretic, steroid, or antihistamine?

Last week’s answer: Lithotripsy is a procedure used in the treatment of kidney stones. The procedure aims to blast a kidney stone with shock waves of such high intensity, such that the stone is broken into smaller pieces and thus easier for the patient to naturally pass. 

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