Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Surgery Grand Rounds, More Histo, PBL, and Dean's Dinner

Today was a long day, but I got a lot of things done. I went in early for the Surgery Grand Rounds. This was the first time a Surgery Grand Rounds talk has been kind of disappointing to me. The speaker began by describing a little about the FDA, and pointing out that in an ideal world, a regulatory body like the FDA wouldn’t be necessary. (Well, yeah, in an ideal world, no regulations of any kind would be necessary.) It then took him 20 minutes to go through all of these different parts of the FDA. Although it was not the most interesting talk I've ever attended, it definitely impressed upon me (if I had ever had any doubt!) that the FDA, like all governmental agencies, is ridiculously full of layer upon layer of bureaucracy. He was still droning on about some examples of devices that the FDA had approved when I had to leave for class.

My first seminar was yet more histo, this time of the female reproductive tract. There is a part II of it tomorrow. I'm still not all that gung ho about histology, but the speaker made us some fantastic review sheets. I have to say though that this block is ridiculously heavy in histo. It's like my worst M1 nightmare: hour after hour of sitting in the darkened library room (room 3-57, which you'll get to know well if you become a student here) looking at fuzzy slides that half the time won't load properly and that are barely distinguishable. It is looking more and more like a career in path is not in my future....

The second seminar was on oogenesis, and I really enjoyed that one. We went through several cases and discussed oocytes and their hormonal regulation. It's very complex and interesting. Girls are born with all of the oocytes they will ever have, and most of those oocytes die off without ever being ovulated. I also learned that menopause doesn't usually happen until a woman is around 50, which surprised me. I had thought it was more like early 40s, and apparently that does happen to some women, but the normal age is around 50.

I did my female urogenital system embryology learning objective in PBL today, and it basically built on the male urogenital system embryology learning objective that I did last week. Since we already knew a lot of the material, I focused more on comparing and contrasting the male and female development, and I made it into a quiz for review. Oh, and we were right about the diagnosis that we guessed for the patient last time.

I had the afternoon free, so I did some errands and reading and went to the gym. In the evening, we had a Dean's Dinner. The speaker was the same faculty member who helped me do my journal club presentation last summer. I thought her talk was really interesting; she is studying angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels), and particularly as it relates to the eye. It may seem surprising, but too many blood vessels in the eye can actually lead to blindness or degeneration of the retina in the back of the eye. There were just four of us at my table for dinner, including the speaker, so we were able to ask her more questions about how she became a scientist. (She had started out as a physician and then went back to school to get her PhD.)

Now I am really exhausted, and I do not have the energy to do my reading for class tomorrow. I think I am going to have to just get up early and do it. There are only three more sessions left, including tomorrow. I can do this!

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