Friday, October 27, 2006

Coronary Vessels Lab, PBL, POD, and PA Meeting

Today was a really great day. I think the coronary vessels lab that we did this morning was one of the best seminars we have had all year so far, if not the best. We were broken up into our PBL groups, and we went through four different stations. Some of them were more of a question-and-answer kind of format, while the last one involved us getting to see a cardiac catheterization. It was seriously one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my entire life. We all had to put on these really heavy lead aprons to avoid exposure to the contrast agent, and then we filed into the OR to watch the procedure. When the contrast agent was injected, we were able to watch on the screen as it went through the coronary arteries. We were also able to determine that the patient has a right-dominant heart (meaning that her right coronary artery is the one that perfuses the back part of her heart). This is the most common arrangement in humans; most of us are right-hearters. We also got to see the catheters that they use, and I was surprised to learn that there are different catheters for the right coronary artery versus the left. It makes sense, because they go off at different angles, but I just had never really thought about that requiring two differently-shaped catheters before.

We finished this week's PBL case today. Since we only had four objectives to present, we didn't have any trouble finishing them all up in time. After that, we went back to discussing the patient's problems and how a recurrence could be prevented. We weren't very satisfied with how the case ended. It felt like we were just left hanging, and we never got some of our questions answered. But overall, the group is starting to work well together. Too bad that in a month we are going to all shuffle groups again.

Our POD seminar today was on angiogenesis. (Angiogenesis is the process of growing new blood vessels.) It was fairly interesting, but of course last week's talk was a very hard act to follow. This speaker studies the mechanisms of angiogenesis. Since she does cancer work, she is hoping to learn how to block angiogenesis so that she can starve tumors of their blood supply. After POD, I met with my PA to go over my portfolio essay. I need to make some corrections to it, but overall the meeting went well. One thing that I have to do is figure out how to fix my reference links so that we can click on them and go straight to the references I cited. I think I am going to have to go back to the tech support people and get them to help me.

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