Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Innovations, Seminars, and Clinic

For those of you who are applying to CCLCM, yesterday was our first interview day this year. I can't believe that we are already interviewing for the class of 2013! The time really flies.

The theme this week is inflammatory diseases, and our seminar yesterday was about the immune system. It was ok, not the best we've had. After PBL and seminar, I went over to the Intercontinental Hotel for part of the afternoon. Right now there is an Innovations Conference going on there with an exhibition (lots of free stuff) and discussion panels. This year's conference topic is on innovations in cardiovascular medicine. I am trying to figure out why I didn't go to this thing last year, because they let the CCLCM students register for free, and the talk I saw yesterday was pretty good. Larry King was hosting it, and Steve Nissen was one of the panel members.

This morning, we had a great seminar on arthritis, followed by FCM. There was some confusion about where to go, so our small group didn't do much discussion because we were already half an hour into the period by the time our preceptor found us. That was ok with me, because it gave me more time to work on my poster. The same lawyer from last week was talking to us again, and as soon as FCM was over, I rushed back to the Intercontinental to hear Judah Folkman speak. Folkman is involved in angiogenesis research. Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels grow. This is a big deal for people who study tumors because if you could choke off their blood supply, you could kill them.

Unfortunately, he must have cancelled, because he didn't show up. One of my classmates and I were walking around the exhibition, and the super nice lady at the desk gave us each a computer bag. We were going to head back to Lerner for lunch when another lady invited us to eat at the conference. Students weren't supposed to be allowed to eat at the conference because the meals were only for people who paid, but we decided to go up there since we were told it was ok. In the end, we didn't stay though because it was a sit-down lunch and we both had clinic today.

This week's clinic went much more smoothly than last week's, except that my preceptor sprang a surprise observed physical on me. At one point, I blanked out and couldn't remember how to start examining the cranial nerves. It kind of bums me out that even after a full year of clinic experience, I still feel so awkward and slow with the physical exam. My preceptor was really nice about it though and told me that it will take several years to become comfortable with the full exam. I don't think I really had a very good conception of how difficult learning to examine patients would be. It's not even that you have to learn all of the steps, but also that you need to stay in practice. I find that often it is hard for me to remember exams that I've learned a few months ago. When I have some time, I will have to watch the Swartz video again. Maybe this weekend.

On a not-so-good note, I lost my keys somewhere today. I wound up spending an hour waiting for the custodian to come let me into my building--luckily, I have a spare set of keys. But I hope I can find the originals because my favorite memory stick is on the keychain. It got dark while I was waiting outside, and there I was doing tomorrow's reading by street lamp. I got plenty of weird looks from people passing by--what, doesn't everyone read vasculitis articles by streetlight? All I can say is that I'm really glad this happened in October and not February!

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