Saturday, January 4, 2014

Fall 2013 In Review

This past Fall semester seemed to speed right a long. Classes were a bit different than the first year of PA school and challenging in their own unique way. Here are some of the unique/challenge things about this past senester:

Topics in Medicine III (TIM)
This semesters TIM class started out fairly similar to the previous semester because our first two modules where systems based (rheumatology and nephrology).  Then we moved onto population based medicine (pediatrics, women's health, geriatrics) which was different and difficult. These modules were very different than what I was used to because the disease and disorders discussed were not as generalized to the greater population and we had to learn about new types of exam skills and physical exam findings that I was not as familiar with. We finished up with surgery and emergency medicine, which were again different and difficult in their own uniques ways. For surgery we focused less on procedures and more on pre-op and post-op care and treatment of complications. For emergency medicine, there was a lot of diseases/conditions that we had seen before however seen patients in an emergency room requires a slightly different assessment and exam process. While our TIM course took me on some ups and downs, I learned a ton of medicine and some things about myself.

Clinical Skills III
This semester was like nothing we had seen before. Here is a list of all the things we covered:

  • Suturing fundamentals and practice
  • Clinical reasoning- one of my favorites
  • Injections and venipunctures- its fun to stick your classmates!  
  • Bandages and splints
  • Case Presentation
  • IV lines and AB's
  • Hospital Orders
  • Drug calculations & Writing Drug Orders- not as easy as it looks
  • Radiology review
  • Surgical Knot tying
  • Male Exam*
  • Breast Exam*
  • Pelvic Exam*
  • Surgical Scrubbing
  • Casting- lots of fun and a little scary cutting casts off
  • Airways and tubes
  • Pediatric Physical Exam
  • ACLS
  • Office Lab Methods
  • Intro to the clinical Setting

We covered so much in this one class and I am ready to continue to develop these skills in my coming rotations.
* Our program is awesome in that we get to watch and practice these exams on real people. While this does come with a hefty dose of awkwardness its nice to have at least done it once on a real person so when the time comes to perform these skills on rotations I will be better prepared.

Behavioral Health Sciences III
We had lecture on a wide variety of topics including: health disparities, leadership, health promotion and disease prevention (affectionately known as HPDP or hippy dippy),  evidence based medicine and how to search for evidence and assess the evidence, motivational interviewing, and others.

Our Behavioral Health Sciences class also includes a Medical Spanish component.  One of the new things our professor and the program tried was a Spanish OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam).  This involved us students seeing a standardized patient that spoke only Spanish.  This was very nerve racking but I am very glad we had to do it.  Its comforting to be heading into our clinical year knowing that I have at least seen one "patient" using my spanish skills.

Fall 2013 brought me many challenges academically, personally and professionally. I am very grateful to have experienced them with my class and I am looking forward to starting clinical rotations!!!!

What's coming up:

  • Revisit the goals I had wrote about at the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester
  • White Coat Ceremony
  • Preview for my clinical year