Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Proximal Tubule Function Seminar and PBL

Things are finally starting to settle down for the holidays. We had a short day today with nothing planned in the afternoon, so I got to go home early. In the morning, we had a seminar about the proximal tubule, which is part of the filtering apparatus (nephron) of the kidney. It was another small-group problem-solving session, but with a different guy than the one I had last time. I really liked how this guy was less involved and gave us a chance to try to figure out the problems ourselves first, but he still helped us when we got stuck. I got a lot out of today's session, and I feel like I understand the concepts better. Ironically, I wasn't supposed to be in this group, but I remembered the room number wrong and some of my classmates who were supposed to be in that group had gone to different rooms also, so it all worked out.

I finally did figure out the answers for my PBL learning objective about what vomiting does to the patient's blood salt concentration. It turns out that hydrogen ions are not capable of drawing water after themselves when they cross membranes like sodium or potassium ions can, which was what I had thought. But, I was wrong about the idea that the salt concentration of the patient's plasma would change, because apparently along with losing the salt, the patient also loses a corresponding amount of water. Thus, the total salt concentration in his blood remains constant even though the composition of the blood (which salts are there and in what amounts) does change. Well, now we know.

I'm planning to spend this afternoon reading and taking advantage of my free afternoon. As it turns out, we only came up with one learning objective today, so I don't have a learning objective to prepare for Friday. That means tomorrow I can spend some much needed time catching up in anatomy.

No comments: