Week 32: The Models

It’s amazing how quickly time seems to go by when balancing the load of eight classes on your shoulders. I’m two weeks into the semester and already losing track of time, but luckily managing to keep up with the material as best as possible. Ideally, I would be able to dedicate two hours of study time to each class over my weekends. Unfortunately, a sixteen-hour study day does not seem feasible to me…at least at the moment!

My last new course, Pharmacology, began this week. The biggest difference in Pharmacology this semester will be the need to learn dosing regimens for all of the drugs that we cover, so I expect that my math skills, which I really haven’t used since undergrad, will be very often used moving forward. This week in Pharmacology we focused on drugs prescribed for diabetic patients, specifically those with type II diabetes (the category of diabetes associated with weight gain). It’s not so much only the drugs that matter in the treatment of this condition, but what’s even more important is the promotion of diet and exercise to supplement the drug therapy used. In Surgery, we focused on post-operative treatment of patients, like how to determine the amount of fluids and nutrients patients should be given intravenously (IV) based on their overall weight and hydration status (even more math!). This week in Geriatrics, we had several different lecturers visit our class to speak about their specialties in reference to the treatment of elderly patients. One lecturer was an audiologist (hearing specialist) and the other was a physical therapist, both integral players in the care of such patients. In Clinical Skills, we learned how to perform a gynecologic exam as well as a physical exam of a male’s genitalia, including assessment of hernias. I know what you’re thinking…no, we did not use real human patients OR each other to practice these exams! We used plastic/rubber models to practice the techniques required of these physicals. The first time I perform these techniques on real patients will be during my rotations this summer. Next week we learn how to perform rectal and prostate exams…luckily, using the models as our patients once again.

Speaking about time flying by, the first big deadline for my research class is right around the corner. This is the one and a half year-long class, in which time we (in groups of four) complete our thesis project, required to graduate from the program with a Master’s degree. The first deadline is our concept project in which we present the concept of our research study in the form of a written paper and an oral presentation. I’ll say more about the concept of my group’s topic as the research progresses this month. Right now, I think we have an interesting topic that will keep us busy over the next year!

Question of the week: What is the most common cause of hearing loss in a patient over the age of 65?

Last week’s answer: Late in pregnancy, a female’s cervix may dilate as much as 10 centimeters leading up to delivery.

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