Friday, April 06, 2007

Lipid Seminars, PBL, and POD

The first half of the seminar was about intracellular receptors for steroid hormones. It was a good seminar except for the fact that once again we were stuffed into a too-small conference room. I really liked the second half of the seminar, but I think I'm the only one who did. The premise was that we were consultants for a company called Adipogone that is trying to identify novel targets for weight loss therapy. Of course, the strategy that the company wants to use to eliminate adipose tissue is bunk, and it's our job to tell them why it won't work. Not only had I done the assigned reading for this seminar, but I also did the extra reading. Between actually being prepared and also finding the topic interesting, I got a lot out of this seminar.

In PBL, I did my pharm presentation today, and it turned out to be one of the better learning objectives I have done so far. While I was researching the drugs, I was fortunate enough to come across a continuing medical education article for family physicians that went into all of the SLEEP aspects of using one category of drugs versus another. So I was able to add that info to my presentation too, and based upon all of these considerations (the patient's disease plus his social circumstances), I concluded that he had been prescribed the wrong kind of drug. The one he'd been given is cheap, but so is the one that I wanted to give him because it's available as a generic. I even checked, and you can get it at Walmart for $4 per month. (There is a program at Walmart where people can get a bunch of common generics from them for $4 per month.) Anyway, as much as I am not fond of SLEEP issues, it wound up being all right in this case.

The POD speaker today was a biomedical engineer who is working on foot biomechanics, particularly as it relates to patients with diabetes. Basically the diabetics lose sensation in their feet, and they can get these awful sores there because they also don't have very good blood flow to their extremities. If you like gross pictures, this was the POD session for you. It was definitely not MY favorite POD session. But since we have so many engineers in my class, they were loving it. Toward the end, the speaker said that he was going to put up a few slides of equations, and I swear, all of the engineering people got excited. :-P

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