The seminar today started out with the patient and her physician telling us about her heart arrythmia. Turns out that I was wrong about it being a potassium channel problem. I thought that the problem would be due to a potassium channel either opening too late or closing too soon. It's actually a problem with a sodium channel that is expressed in the heart. In her case, the channels stay open too long, and that leads to all kinds of heart and neuromuscular problems. After that, a CCF physician presented to us about channelopathies, but it was all basically from the readings. The patient is now on a sodium channel blocking drug, and fortunately that seems to be helping her.
Some of the second year students are starting a free clinic, and they invited us to join them. We had a meeting about it at lunchtime to pick officers and a name, but we're still working on the name. The plan is for the clinic to be held on Friday afternoons at a community center near the campus, but some people also suggested doing it on weekends too. There is already a free clinic in Cleveland, but they are not open at that time, and that way we could avoid duplicating their efforts. The clinic will include an AIDS outreach effort, fundraising, and maybe even a research project in the future.
Today there are a bunch of social events too. The girls in the class were all invited to go for dinner at La Dolce Vita in Little Italy. It's not that they're trying to exclude the guys, but the restaurant has a lady's night. And then afterward most of us are going out for one student's birthday.