Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I didn't know then what I know now

I wanted to write a post reflecting on my experience and gleaning some insight, or something. Well, I can say I was so exhausted that it took a lot of effort to do any type of intellectual work (i.e. my paper and this blog) for over a week after finals. I also learned that medical school, at least term 1, is nearly pure memorization. I wish I knew how my brain memorized information before I started school, but luckily I quickly (re)discovered my visual learning style. The Netter Anatomy cards became a godsend.
Now it has been a few weeks since school and the next semester starts a week from Monday. I figured I would be posting about all the neat medical things I was reading over the break, but I got sidetracked everyday on random websites, going out to eat, walks around Boston with a slightly different perspective after being out of town, looking up computers, watching adult swim, etc. It was also freezing here and has been snowing most of the time, so it's been more of the coach activities than the walking ones. Some good material for facebook updates, but not this blog.
Perhaps the most rewarding part of the break was the applications of what I learned. A friend of mine mentioned how when he was diagnosed with cancer, the physicians said he had fluid around his heart and needed to go to the ER immediately. Ah, I thought in my head, Beck's Triad. It took some thinking/googling to figure out the items of the triad and the actual condition associated with it(not just the image of the ppt slide from lecture), but that was the nature of my training to that point: random associations would come back, sometimes out of context, and not always complete. But it was there. Watching medical programs with wikipedia became a combination quiz and review. As my awareness of my knowledge, and its limitations, grew, I began to get more excited about next semester and wanted to fast forward to clinical years when I could see my knowledge in action, just like on Discovery Health channel.

Monday, December 7, 2009

First Final Finished

Biochemistry is now over. Time to move on to first Histology and then Anatomy. I had a lukewarm relationship with biochem. There were parts of the class I found fascinating at first glance, such as discussions on obesity and metabolic syndrome, and others that after working really hard to understand I grew to appreciate, best example being lipid metabolism. Most frustrating was probably the endless amounts of coenzymes and cofactors that we had to simply memorize. A better organized list of what coenzymes went with what reactions could've been very helpful for the exam at least.

The best moment of the class probably came during the final, as I was reading through a question with blood test results of ALP, GGT, AST, ALT and Bilirubin and using information from the patient history (sick last week) and physical exam (yellow sclera) to come up with a diagnosis. Then actually creating a differential as I went through the question. That felt good, that felt like I am on my way to actually becoming a doctor.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Exercise May Slow Telomere Shortening, Aging (CME/CE)

Very interesting article... one of the first pieces of research I've noticed that delves into things that can reduce shortening our telomeres... a positive type of age research if you will - I'll be sure to check the references on this paper...

Exercise May Slow Telomere Shortening, Aging (CME/CE): "Endurance training appears to have anti-aging effects at the molecular level, researchers found."