Friday, February 5, 2010

I'm Learning Real Medicine!!!


This week's NEJM issue features two clinical cases that I can actually say I understood!
When we were learning systemic and portal circulation, we had a clinical study case that
was just like this one. We had to identify at least 4 porto-systemic anastomoses, and predict
what would happen to these blood vessels should pressure go up in the portal circulation
due to liver cirrhosis. I knew what they were showing on the picture, too! This is so cool --
"Anatomy is Power" as my professors used to say every so often.

Bleeding Esophageal Varices

By coincidence, I've been learning pulmonary physiology this week -- and so this article jumped
out at me (I've just spent the past 9 hours predicting lung volumes and guessing at the flow rates
for tomorrow's quiz). When I look at this article now, it amazes me I actually know what I'm
looking at. I know what a CT is, I've learned some basics of how to read them, and I have an
appreciation for what should be on that CT and roughly in what sizes. My physiology class uses
lots of clinical cases like this one to practice solving "problems". So yes, I've just spent many hours
in solitude with my TI-84 and heaps of my meticulously numbered and dated papers. But it's a
trade worth anything and everything -- because I get to experience at least some of what this case
really looked like to the physician who treated it.

Under Pressure

Well, that makes me feel much better.
But I'm going to sleep --

I have class in 3hrs...
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