Diagnosis?

I’m back!

I am happy to say that my classmates and I survived winter quarter! It was grueling, but after making it through close to 15 hours of finals a few weeks ago, I can look back and say that it was an invigorating sort of grueling.  Although I’m not a runner, I imagine that winter quarter could be compared to an endurance race where you test your limits and, in the midst of everything, find your second and third wind.

So, I am here to say that you can indeed survive the following :

  1. Neuro.  As a fusion of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neurobiology, this course both challenged me and taught me a lot of amazing things (including the knowledge needed to understand why we do what we do in the neurological exam).
  2. Practice of Medicine II.  It seemed like a daunting prospect at first, but I learned how to perform a complete physical exam!  The clinical sessions were very well-done, and a big thank-you to our wonderful E4C faculty, staff, and Standardized Patients!
  3. Intro to Human Health and Disease. This was our “bugs and drugs” class on microbiology and pharmacology, and I learned everything from what causes summer colds (enterovirus!) to the different manifestations of pneumonia and tuberculosis.
  4. Clinical Anatomy.  We dissected the head and neck this quarter, which was a profound journey.  My donor, I never knew you in life, but thank you for giving me this amazing opportunity and showing me what it means to believe in the future and to give selflessly.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

– Greek proverb

Spring quarter is now underway (it’s hard to believe that today finishes off the second week of spring classes!), and so far I love the material.  We’re learning about the respiratory system right now in Human Health and Disease, and in Practice of Medicine III, we’re integrating the history taking/physical exam skills we learned during the past two quarters into a streamlined, cohesive whole.  I am so excited to begin learning how to form differential diagnoses!

I’m hoping to post more later, but in the meantime, a little vignette…

Chief Complaint: Belated blogging

History of Present Illness: Patient presents with intermittent blogging. Intervals between blogging vary in frequency, but have increased in length as the first year of medical school progresses. Patient denies a loss of interest in writing and often thinks about blogging but has difficulty making time to sit down and write posts. Associated symptoms include periodic sensations of regret.

Patient Perspective of Illness: The patient’s main concern is that everyone who comes across this blog will wonder why there hasn’t been a new post since the beginning of the previous quarter.

Family History: Family has healthy writing capabilities.

Past Medical History: The patient has experienced bouts of writer’s block in the past.

Social history: The patient is a medical student.

Review of Systems: Negative.