Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pharmacology, PBL, and Clinical Skills

We started out with a double pharm seminar this morning. You have to understand that I really, truly, honestly do love pharm. It's my favorite medical science, no question. I read pharm books on my own sometimes just because I'm interested in learning more about it. I even like pharm better than anatomy, and I know I've gone on and on about how much I love anatomy. But I have to say that the first part of today's pharm seminar was probably the most painful seminar that I have attended since I started medical school. On the bright side, the second half was much better. It was led by a different pharmacist, and actually, her part of the seminar was probably the best pharm seminar we've had so far. I hope that she will be coming back to lead some more seminars.

We are continuing on with the same case in PBL about the guy who drinks and urinates a lot. The presentations today went well, and we didn't come up with very many learning objectives, so I don't have one to prepare for Friday. That means that I can catch up and do some other reading I've been wanting to do tomorrow. Our PBL tutor was out of town today, so we had a sub. You wouldn't think that would be a big deal, but it actually does change the dynamics of the group. I think we were all on better behavior today.

In the afternoon, we had clinical skills class. We didn't learn any new skills today. Instead, we practiced the ones we've been learning up to this point. I really enjoyed the clinical part of it. First, my favorite preceptor was teaching us today. Then, one of the other preceptors didn't show up, so some of his students and their standardized patient joined my group. It made things very hectic and crowded, but it was really fun. One of the standardized patients had a bit of a cold, and when I was listening to his lungs, I could hear him wheezing on one side. I had been wanting to go over the lung exam again, and now that I did it again on both standardized patients, I feel a lot more confident about doing it.

For the communication skills part, we had to take a family history. That part wasn't as much fun as the clinical part, but it went ok. Basically, we had the standardized patient tell us about each of their family members and what illnesses they'd had. We had to make a family tree, kind of like a pedigree. Our preceptors had us change interviewers in the middle of the interview, and that was pretty awkward. We also tried doing the interview two different ways: once by family member, and once by disease. For the record, it's a lot easier to gather family history info in a systematic way if you go by family member and not by disease.

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