Even though this week was supposed to be about skeletal muscles, I get the impression that it was really all a big lead-in for next week when we'll be starting the neuro unit. Our seminar this morning was an introduction to the anatomy of the central nervous system. It wasn't bad, but since I had finished all of the reading before class, and the seminar basically completely followed the reading, it wasn't the most exciting seminar.
Our PBL case this week was about a neuromuscular disorder, and we wound up making almost all of our learning objectives about the nervous system rather than the muscles. I think that everyone is feeling kind of anxious about the next four weeks because the difficulty of neuro has been hyped up so much. I guess I feel that way too. I wound up getting a neuroanatomy atlas that has some really nice pictures of the brain in it. Even better, every chapter has a section with USMLE practice questions. (Don't worry, agnathodemon, I'll post another list of books for you at the end of the block. :-) )
Our POD speaker today was talking about genes in muscle development. She was a good speaker, and my classmates who are really into molecular bio seemed to especially enjoy the talk. Her lab is interested in studying how alternative splicing of certain genes in muscle cells leads them to develop into muscle cells instead of some other type, as well as how their development allows them to function properly.
After POD, one of my classmates and I spent the rest of the afternoon in the library doing some cardiovascular anatomy and physiology practice questions. We were both lamenting how much cardio we've already managed to forget after only three months. Actually, though, doing the questions really helped us review a lot of these topics, and we're planning to do this again every month. I think maybe next time we'll go over the respiratory system.