Posts tagged: block III

Week 17: The End or Just the Beginning?

By , December 9, 2007 at 8:46 pm

For the amount of time and effort anatomy has asked of us thus far, it has continued to be unrelenting through to the end. We got barraged with the lower limb Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week and mind you – that essentially makes up half the body – and were tested immediately on both Thursday with the National Board of Medical Examiners anatomy shelf exam, and then again on Friday with our written test and practical test that spanned another four hours. Without recalling all the traumatic experiences and stress of this week and stirring up my newly acquired post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), I survived. In hindsight the practical identification of the tagged cadavers came out a like better than we expected. Yes I have survived gross anatomy, but what have I accomplished? 1066 pages of textbook reading in short term memory, check. Virtually nil comprehension of the lower limb, check. Massive apprehension to having to learn any of these systems in greater depth and detail, check. But that was it, after Friday at 12:00 pm my brain decompressed and it’s been recovering ever since. The mercy that Mayo’s curriculum affords is the two week selective, the three week non-didactic leadership block, followed by another two week selective before our next basic science six weeks starts in January. Anatomy the block is over, but the long term learning is just beginning… well, beginning after I enjoy these seven weeks of neural vacation.

Week 16: The Beginning of the End

By , December 9, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Orbit, eye, ear, parotid, temporal and infratemporal regions, pharynx, nose, paranasal sinuses and oral cavity, root of the neck and larynx – piece of cake right? Right… seeing that there was more information in this week alone of lecture than about all the previous four weeks of anatomy combined. Add that to the mounting tension of a looming final next week and it makes for massive stress and little sleep. Sunkist and Mountain Dew became my new found friends.

Mayo teamed up with Singapore to put together a review of the neck using clay models, even if it doesn’t make too much sense it’s interesting to look at their art.

Week 15: Halloween Hemisection

By , December 8, 2007 at 10:11 pm

Ready for another list? Female and male perineum, pelvis, superficial face and neck, and cranial cavity were the list of objectives for this week as was Halloween though we didn’t really celebrate it. In the spirit of creepy Halloween however, one of our dissections was a hemisection which involved dismemberment of the leg and also sawing the pelvis in half (hence the hemisection) so that we can see the cross section of the anatomy through the pubic symphysis. Needless to say a disembodied lower limb was a rather creepy thing to heft around.

Halloween was celebrated by trunk or treating for a bit at church and also a little bit of neighborhood trick or treating for Mikey. As the trend continues there were virtually no trick or treaters on Halloween itself suggesting that the era of door to door trick or treating is over. Enjoy the pictures of Mikey the doggie:

Week 14: Video Gaming Good for Surgery?

By , December 8, 2007 at 8:38 pm

Abdominal walls, inguinal region, stomach, duodenum, celiac trunk, liver, bile passages, portal circulation, intestines, superior mesenteric artery, inferior mesenteric artery, posterior abdominal wall, and diaphragm – these were the mere topics of this week’s learning. If you really want to know the basics of what happened day to day, look at week 13 for a generic breakdown which really encapsulates the feel from a first person medical student perspective.

So how is video gaming good for surgery you ask? Well in an extracurricular activity this Friday, Dr. Dozios from general surgery came to the cadaver lab and demonstrated how to use laparoscopic tools to operate on a fresh (frozen, thawed, but otherwise not preserved thus retaining body fluids) cadaver. Anecdotal evidence suggest that video gamers are more articulate in their hand-eye coordination as well as their spatial perception, both components that are necessary when using laparoscopic tools and doing the surgery via a camera and monitor.

I finally got to cash in on my Super Mario Brothers investment as I picked up the tools and clamped and stapled with ease as I got a feel for laparoscopic surgery. It was a fun first exposure and one I’m glad my video gaming skills have helped develop.

Week 13: A Day in a Block of Gross Anatomy

By , December 8, 2007 at 8:13 pm

We finished up the extensors of the upper limb on Monday and spent Tuesday to Thursday learning the whole thoracic area from the regions of the mediastinum, lungs, and heart as we dissected a whole lot of structures this week. Throughout this experience we also had some afternoons spent on our Introduction to the Patient class which teaches us practical skills of patient exam. We listened to lung sounds and also listened for heart sounds although frankly we don’t have too much of a grasp on really what we are looking for just yet but only a little bit of how to do it. With time I am confident that we’ll be able to master the material a bit more.

This was basically a typical week of anatomy, the ins and outs of a typical day is basically waking up at 5:30 am to preview the day’s material, arrive at school at 8:00 am, lecture until 9:15 am, dissect in the cadaver lab until 11:15 am, finish more lecture and get rocked in our Audience Response System (ARS) questions which are basically quiz questions that we answer with our own clickers in 60 seconds each, and done by 12:00 pm. If we have an afternoon class, which run typically 3/5 days of the week we go back to lecture from 1-2 pm and then from 2-4 pm typically we go to a clinical setting to practice either on standardized patients or each other. I get home by 4:30-5:00 pm, eat dinner and unwind until 6:00 pm, and read, study, review and memorize until 1-2 am. The process repeats itself day in day out and you see pretty quickly that you start burning out. The handful of hours between days and between systems that we are learning just doesn’t seem to be enough to solidify everything.

Needless to say this week introduced me to the terror of gross anatomy.

Week 12: Friends and Family, Formalin Free!

By , December 2, 2007 at 5:10 pm

I got suckered by the 3M Littman Reps and by peer pressure into getting a Cardiology III stethoscope, although we were thoroughly convinced that the limiting factor for the four years of medical school would not be what went in the ears, but rather what was between the ears. Sage advice that I ignored, should’ve went with the cheaper stethoscope.

Anatomy this week comprised of dissecting and learning the axilla, upper limb including flexors and extensors of the arm and forearm, as well as the hand. We were also introduced to the brachial plexus and all the nervous injuries to the nerves in the upper limbs can produce. It was fascinating looking at our arms exposed – I never would have imagined how many muscles there are that control this region of the body, I guess never appreciating that all our articulation of the upper limb is attributed to various muscle combination that I appreciate in function – now in learning in three days was another story. Our return on investment from an early start to anatomy matured this week as Thursday and Friday were off as it was Friends and Family weekend – more on that in a second. Instead, we had a selective lecture by Dr. Bachman which focused on family practice and an introduction of virtual visits that the doctors have been using here to try to save on visitation costs and to follow up more directly and more efficiently. It was an interesting concept, but I don’t think the office visit proper will ever be totally phased away. This does help out though for getting that seasonal allergy prescription visit or a follow up to say that “everything is fine.”

Friends and Family weekend is an open house that Mayo Medical School runs for our parents in lieu of a white coat ceremony. As Mayo Medical Students are never given white coats (our clinical interaction with patients is always in suits and business attire), we don’t have the traditional presentation of a white coat at the beginning of the year. Instead we are presented with a plaque with a commitment to human values that we take. It felt like graduation, but maybe four years too early – three and a half now I guess. We were also invited to the Foundation House in a nice reception dinner that we enjoyed and it was nice to have my father and mother in law (Paul and Jan) who came up for the occasion and also to visit us. Wish it were four years in the future and we were getting our medical degrees, but alas – just a glimpse of future I hope.

Week 11: Emotions Revealed – Anatomy Begins

By , December 2, 2007 at 3:36 pm

I scrubbed in on Monday morning to end my four day weekend a little earlier to observe another spinal surgery. I had a chance this time to watch the L5-S1 fusion from start to finish as the case went about 4 hours from first incision to last suture. They went in anteriorly through the abdomen and exposed the vertebral bodies, scraping the out the herniated vertebral disc, added a bone graft, a titanium plate, and six screws before closing the patient back up. I got a front row seat scrubbed in and got to play around with the mushy vertebral disc when it was taken out. By the end of the week with the start of gross anatomy I would learn that I was mashing up nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus of the vertebral disc.

Anatomy started early on Wednesday, skipped Thursday, and continued Friday as we substituted two days out of this selective for Friends and Family weekend over the weekend of October 11-12. With anatomy beginning the fun began as we were introduced to our cadavers on Wednesday and the same day began dissection on the back – with that the fun of learning muscles, nerves, insertions, origins, etc. began [in retrospect: what we thought was nigh impossible to learn in these first two days of anatomy would prove at the end of six weeks leaps and bounds easier than our final week and a half of anatomy trying to learn head and neck and lower limb in seven days]. Being sensitive to the nature of our dissections, the donors privacy and also confidentiality I will not divulge in any details or specifics regarding our cadaver or procedures, but for those of you who are truly interested in what we are doing, you can take a look at the University of Wisconsin anatomy site for anatomical dissection videos that will give you a first person perspective of what we did in the anatomy lab.

We ended the week with a training workshop by the Ekman Group that was paid for by the medical school. The Ekman Group is a team of specialists trained in facial recognition that works with security agencies worldwide and trains personnel in the technique of facial expression recognition and micro expressions. Purported to be more accurate than polygraph, facial expressions are hard to unlearn and retrain – especially micro expressions that only last fractions of a second – but when picked up by experts can be far more revealing that any other means. We looked at footage from the O.J. Simpson trial, various CEO TV interviews before secret corporate corruption was exposed and saw how micro expressions of contempt and disgust were long in existence despite their cheerful faces. It was an interesting seminar and as we trained, it hopefully helped us learn to analyze our patient contact better in hopes of better ascertaining hidden concerns. I thought it was some pretty hi-tech stuff that I sure didn’t anticipate learning in medical school to say the least.

Copyright 2004-2013 Dan & Carolyn Chan