We started out today with a biochem seminar yet again, but it was a different biochemist than last time. This seminar was a lot better than the energy biochem one we had yesterday, although still not great. But to be fair, I guess it would be hard for anyone to turn purine biosynthesis into a fascinating subject. Then the biochemist from yesterday came back to give us the second half of the seminar, and I was resigning myself to another torturous hour. But this seminar was more clinical and a lot better than yesterday's. (It was on muscular dystrophy.) Maybe the speaker was less nervous or something, or maybe it was just a more familiar topic. I don't know what it was, but that has to be the biggest improvement in a 24-hour period that I've ever seen a speaker make.
I'm still the leader for PBL today. This week is supposed to be about muscles, but we're getting pretty heavy into neuro already. One of my group members knows a lot about neuro, and we had him give us a not-so-brief intro to the brain. I can already see that neuroanatomy is going to be very complicated, but I am still hopeful that it's going to be an interesting four weeks. I haven't really been enjoying the musculoskeletal stuff on the whole up to this point.
In the afternoon, we had clinical skills, and for the physical diagnosis part we finished off the rest of the neuro exams that we hadn't covered last time. Somehow the neuro tests we did today seem to be the easier ones--well, all except for testing people's reflexes. I managed to bang our standardized patient on the kneecap once while I was testing her patellar reflex, but only once. At the beginning, I was using my right hand to do the tendon reflex tests, but I got a lot better results when I used my left hand. So apparently I am a lefty when it comes to testing reflexes. Our communications skill for this week was on how to close the interview, which is kind of silly. I mean, we've been closing interviews for four months now! It's pretty easy: I just tell the patient that I'm going to go get the doctor now, and thanks a lot for letting me examine you. It's so easy to close the interview that I didn't even need to take this communications skills class to figure out how to close the interview. The best part of the class was when one of my classmates decided to pretend that he was the physician instead of a med student. He didn't give anyone any warning that he was going to do it, and he started making up a treatment plan on the fly. The rest of us were just cracking up throughout his entire interview, but he and the standardized patient both managed to keep a straight face.
Tonight I'm working on my portfolio essay. I won't be getting much sleep, I don't think. At least my paper for the clinical research class that's due tomorrow is already done.