This week was pretty relaxed in between classes and research work. On Monday, we took our group picture so we got to wear our white coats and take many pictures all over campus. We also had a lecture on Atherosclerosis and Myocardial Infraction which helped me understand some of the terminology from last week's shadowing. We learned about the pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment of the most common heart diseases. It has been interesting for me to compare what I have learned in the cardiology lectures to the real life presentation of these diseases that I have observed through my shadowing experiences. The anatomy and physiology of the heart varies greatly within each patient, and I find it fascinating that we all learn by memory everything that we see in books but struggle to deal with real patients. I think that it is important for pre-meds and medical students to be prepared for our clerkship years in medical school because it can be pretty scary if we are expecting every patient to be exactly like the books taught us.
In lab, we continued to test the spermicidal effect of the eluates collected from the ring to determine if the compounds in it protects against pregnancy. Since the new rings will not arrive on time for us to do some testing on them, we decided that our project will focus on determining the shelf-life of the old ring we have been working with. We also tested the pH of the ring to see how much it would affect the vaginal viscosity, further preventing pregnancy. We also started to work on our oral presentation and essays for next week.
On Thursday night, I met with my clinical tutor again and we went over some of her patients' cases, diagnosing them using the tools she taught us the previous week. It was so fun to learn about vertigo and abdominal pain by asking the medical students questions as she pretended to be the patient. Afterwards, we went to the geriatrics floor and listened to a couple of heart murmurs. We also saw a patient that had a deep vain thrombus that caused her severe edema and pain.
I am loving every aspect of the program and I cannot believe that I only have two weeks left. I have to admit that I have become attached to my lab partners and I wish I could take them to Cornell with me. We have had the time of our lives working together everyday... let's hope we get accepted to the same medical school!
Hi guys! Last week was a bit different because I started my shadowing experiences. On Tuesday I went to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit with three of my fellow Travelers. When we got there, we sat in a room full of medical students, interns, fellows, and attending physicians. They were discussing the EKG and medical history of some patients, but we had no idea of what they were talking about. I was somewhat confused with the medical terms they were using but it was hard to ask questions because most of them were learning as they talked. After all, Weill Cornell is a teaching hospital and the attending had to teach many others before teaching us the basics of cardiology. Although I did not learn much about cardiology and the different conditions they were discussing, it was interesting to see the dynamics of a teaching hospital and compare it to my previous shadowing experiences.
On Wednesday and Thursday night, I met with my clinical tutor, a fourth year medical school student. She taught us the basics of diagnosing a patient by identifying their chief complaints and examining other aspects of their current, past, and family history. It was completely different from the ICU rotation of the previous day because I was able to ask questions and comment on anything I wanted. I felt more relaxed and at ease with the fact that I basically do not know anything about diagnosing. It was super fun diagnosing one of her patients using the method that she taught us. We even got to perform physical exams on each other to practice what we learned. It was really awesome!
As for the research, we got to test our eluates for their concentration of ferrous gluconate, a compound that prevents sperm motility. We also made a couple of rings using several chemicals to test of it would be possible for us to make our own ring and then test it as well. However, we do not have enough chemicals to make the ring that we wanted to. Other than that, it has been mostly the same procedures that we have ben doing with the ring.