Thursday, March 13, 2008

Didactic Block

With the psychiatry rotation behind me, I have now embarked on what the medical school is calling our third-year "didactic block." The best thing by far about these three weeks is the opportunity to catch up with classmates, who have been scattered throughout various rotations since July 1.

Today, I completed my certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, which means that I could now support myself by yelling "clear!" and "push the epi!" on some medical drama on TV. Well, not quite, but it does mean that, theoretically, I now have the skills that I would need to run and/or participate in a code (a cardiac arrest) in the hospital. We learned how to use a manual defibrillator, rather than the semiautomatic ones that are available everywhere these days, what rhythms require defibrillation and how much electricity to use, what drugs to use in what sorts of rhythms, how to cardiovert patients whose hearts are running too fast and pace patients whose hearts are going too slow, and a general approach to acutely ill cardiac patients. It was lots of fun, and something that I've wanted to learn ever since I started my EMT training about 10 years ago.

That's pretty much going to be the highlight of these three weeks. Other than that, there's a mildly interesting public health course, a very useful clinical pharmacology class that I am taking with the fourth year students because I may be away when my class does it next year, and some random and thus far not very useful "basic science" lectures from physicians who do a lot of research. Since a lot of my classmates will probably be subspecialists and may themselves do a significant amount of research, I suppose this makes some sense, but as a future primary care physician, I get a bit annoyed when I listen to a ninety minute lecture about all these experiments that have been done, only to be told at the end that none of the theoretically useful measures work when applied to actual sick patients. Ah, well, it's just nice to have some low-key weeks, even if parts are a bit boring.

The weather has turned beautiful, I think it actually hit 50 today! The snow is melting like crazy, leaving giant puddles everywhere on our morning walk into work. Alex had to escort me up onto a snowbank today to help me get around one.

So, that's pretty much what's going on in my life these days. More interesting posts to come soon, I hope. The crumpet is continuing with the gymnastics, but still not hard enough for Alex to feel...

No comments: