Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cultural Disparities, Motor Control, and Clinic

FCM was fairly decent today. We met in our small group first and discussed health care disparities for minorities and gays. Then we got back together for a seminar. The speaker was the same guy from Case who I already heard speak about health disparities for gays and lesbians a few months ago, so I didn't go to his talk. I wanted to finish reading the chapter for the motor control seminar anyway. I'm glad I did, because the seminar wound up consisting of the instructor going around the room and asking people to explain what happened in each experiment. This was the homunculus foot fetish guy again. He was basically just outlining the chapter, so I was only halfway paying attention. But when he got to me, happily I had just read the second half of the chapter, so I knew what was going on in that experiment.

I had clinic in the afternoon. Ok, I know I've told you multiple times that seeing real-life patients is nothing like seeing standardized patients. Today was no different in this regard. I was doing the musculoskeletal exam and counseling the patients about smoking. The first part went more or less without a hitch. By this point, we're all pretty comfortable with the musculoskeletal exam. But the smoking cessation counseling didn't go according to plan. I saw three patients today. The first one has never smoked herself, but her husband does. So I counseled her about getting him to come see his doctor for help with cessation. The second patient was a former smoker, but she had already stopped four months ago. So I didn't have much counseling to do for her, obviously. The third patient is a current smoker. Finally, at last I had the chance to counsel someone who actually needs it! I went through the whole spiel with the patient and everything went quite well. The patient even agreed to talk to the physician about getting help to quit. It wasn't until the end of the exam that I found out that the patient is a narcotics addict, which means that smoking cessation is the least of this person's worries.

My throat is sore and I feel kind of lousy. I hope I'm not getting sick.

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