Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Histo Seminar, PBL, and Dean's Dinner

We had another histology seminar this morning with Dr. Prayson, the pathologist. He was going over the different types of cells (neurons and support cells) in the brain. My favorites are the astrocytes, which really are shaped like stars. Dr. Prayson, being the awesome guy that he is, printed out color copies of all of his slides for us. I wish he could do all of the histo seminars. Apparently next year when we do path, he'll be leading more seminars.

Our PBL case this week is kind of sparse. Again, we have the problem where there really isn't any case left for today, and so we basically have no learning objectives to do for Friday. Well, I take that back. Since the patient is an illegal immigrant and going on Medicaid, we are apparently supposed to be discussing the psychosocial aspects of the case. As if taking FCM weren't enough, now we should use our PBL time to talk about this stuff too? I'm not so happy about that. Plus, Medicaid rules are different in each state, and since I don't intend to ever practice in Ohio, it seems kind of pointless for me to spend a lot of time studying Ohio's specific Medicaid rules.

We had another Dean's Dinner this evening, and it was great as usual. The speaker was telling us about an unexpected side effect that resulted from the use of an experimental drug called natalizumab for multiple sclerosis patients. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder that is caused by the body's immune system attacking the myelin covering of certain neurons. The drug apparently works very well for MS, but in a small number of patients, it resulted in a new illness called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML is caused by a viral infection in the brain. Unfortunately for the few people who developed the disease, PML is often fatal unless the person's immune system weakness can be reversed in time.

Not only was the talk really good, but the food was as well. I wish we could have Dean's Dinners more often.

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