I had a very full, busy day today, but I learned a lot too. In the morning, we started out with a histology seminar. I didn't expect to enjoy it, but it was actually pretty interesting. We were mostly looking at slides of blood vessels and learning how to tell them all apart. Once I had seen several examples, I was starting to be able to distinguish between, say, arteries and arterioles, or veins and lymphatic vessels. I still don't think that histology is very easy, but it's not horrible, either.
After histology, we finished up our PBL case and discussed how things had gone this week. I think that we had some issues with talking over one another and that we should work on improving on that. But overall, it was a good case and everyone did a good job of presenting their objectives.
Our POD seminar today was fantastic. The presenter had brought two patients with her, which of course always makes any seminar more interesting and relevant to the students. Basically, her work is on Marfan's Syndrome and other diseases of connective tissue, and the patients talked to us briefly about their experiences and medical histories. The main risk of having a disease like this is that the aorta can dissect and form an aneurysm, even in younger people. One patient had a heart valve problem, and we were allowed to listen to it with our stethoscopes. It made a kind of swishing sound because of the blood backflowing, and I could hear it along with the regular lub-dub heart sounds that one normally hears through a stethoscope.
Afterward, I went to volunteer at CHI. If you don't remember, CHI is the CCLCM Community Health Initiative, which is our own student-run free health clinic. It was really a blast. I was kind of limited as to what I could do because I'm only a first-year, but I helped with getting healthy snacks for the patients, practiced taking blood pressures, learned how to use the new cholesterol machine, and gave out pamphlets at the sexual health table. I also learned how to take the body mass index (BMI) of the patients, which gives an idea of how overweight they are based on their age, weight, sex, and height, and I watched a pregnancy test be performed. I think it was a great experience for us and for the patients, and I will be going back to volunteer again in November.