Friday, May 04, 2007

More Innate Immunity, PBL, and POD

We had the second of three innate immunity workshops this morning. It was pretty much the same as last time: we were asked to look at data from research articles and answer questions about them. Then at the end, they gave us a little multiple choice "quiz" to do. I thought these workshops would be fun, but I'm kind of tired of them already. Maybe it's my short attention span. It's just hard to sit there and go through articles like that for two straight hours.

The end of our PBL case was kind of dramatic: this time the patient died. None of our other case patients ever died up to this point, and we were disappointed that this one did. It's easy to say, oh, well, it's just a PBL case. But these cases are actually based on real patients, so this is really how someone's illness ended.

Our POD talk today was about an antibiotic-resistant bacterium called Clostridium difficile that is commonly found in hospitals. C. difficile is an interesting organism. For one thing, it makes spores, so it's pretty hard to kill it all. For another, the best place to get sick with it is in a hospital. Patients who have C. difficile wind up having tons of diarrhea, and they still can shed the bacterium even if they're not actively sick. Many of us have small amounts of C. difficile in our colons, but it doesn't usually cause a problem as long as your normal bacterial flora is there. If you take a broad-spectrum antibiotic and wipe out all the normal flora, then you could have problems though.

My PA and I met briefly to go over my professionalism competency from yesterday, and I'm leaving for the airport to take a weekend trip now. Yay for Fridays!

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