The Table In The Corner

OCTOBER 2, 2007

I apologize for not posting for a while, but well, we've been studying the colon, rectum, and anal canal and I figured I would spare you all the pleasantries of my expeditions into our body's most... aromatic regions. That being said, getting to hear the word "anal" in lecture 200 times a day has still not ceased to be humorous in any way.

We have now moved onto genitalia, so I think I will spare you all some details now as well. Though it has been pretty funny to observe certain classmates of mine who are just now being exposed to many details of female anatomy which I have a hunch they had a very vague (if no) idea of before now.

We have just finished block II of our GIE block. Which means I am now officially halfway done with our cadaveric dissection. Studying for med school tests is hell. Between lab and my neighborhood 23rd Starbucks, I believe I put in around 25 hours of studying with my nose to the grindstone (often a very smelly grindstone) this weekend. That being said, one of the most satisfying moments in medical school is finishing an exam, and when you get home, unloading all that information from your binder because you know longer need to know it. I know, this is sad that this is now a highlight of my life, but I take my perks where I can get them. On that note, I now introduce you to...

The place where my medical knowledge goes to die.

Only a couple inches of paperwork in here now, but by the end of the year, this baby will be full of things I have (somewhat) successfully crammed into my head, regurgitated onto paper for 4 hours, then subsequently purged from my memory over a beer (or several) the night following.

On a completely unrelated note, I am continually amazed by the caliber of physicians that my medical school has in their hospital. Since my last post, I have met a surgeon who is helping pioneer a surgery that is going to replace microfracture, a surgeon who is considered one of the premiere pediatric cardiac surgeons in the nations if not world, a surgeon who is trained to operate using one of only 8 robotics units on the entire west coast. Yes I said robots. The hospital has a robot which performs surgery - a truly exciting field which I have a hunch people are going to see continue to expand over the coming years.

I am also continually amazed at how generous and gracious some of the patients are at a teaching institution. Last week our group was learning how to identify a variety of heart and lung sounds indicating various pathologies. Our small group leader took us out onto the wards to visit several of his patients, including one individual I'll call Stan. Stan had just been diagnosed with highly developed COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), an incurable condition which could end his life as soon as two weeks later. I know many people who would be in know mood to even interact with other people after receiving such news, especially bumbling loud curious first year medical students. But Stan simply wanted us to learn, and let each of us listen to all areas of his lungs for the distinctive crackling sound telling of COPD. Why? "If you can learn from me, maybe you can save someone's life one day, or at least prolong it." I am amazed at Stan's generosity and strength, and that even with the end of his life very near in sight, he simply wanted to give as much as he had to offer until the very end.

Not much else to report for now - though I am pleading with several physicians for as much OR time as possible so I am sure I will have some interesting stories soon.

BTW... over 300 hits on the site. That's awesome. Thanks to all of you who check in every once and a while!