Monday, March 10, 2008

First Day of School Minus Me

I went away for spring break last week, and I was supposed to fly back to Cleveland on Saturday. Unfortunately, there was a huge blizzard in the whole Midwest that day, and the Cleveland airport was completely shut down on Saturday. So after I spent a few hours hanging out in the airport (thankfully they had wifi and I had my laptop with me!), my flight got cancelled, and I had to go wait for another hour at the ticket counter to get a new ticket for another flight. First the lady told me that the earliest they could get me back to Cleveland was Tuesday night. I started giving her this whole sob story about how I'm a medical student, that I'd be missing clinic, etc. etc. I guess it helped, because she did manage to find me a flight home for yesterday afternoon. So I only had to miss one day of school instead of two, and I was back in time to go to clinic today.

It's too bad I didn't originally schedule my flight for Sunday, because apparently Sunday was cold but sunny in Cleveland, and the airport was open. That's my reward for trying to get back early so that I'd have time to do laundry, get groceries, and chill out for a day before going back to school. But there wasn't anything I could do except email my new PBL group and the Monday seminar leader to let them know that I'd be out. It wasn't just me that had this problem--two of my other PBL group members who also had a Saturday flight home got stranded as well.

I finally made it back Monday night after a small detour to Detroit, and I basically just ate some dinner and went to bed. Today we had a seminar on drug discovery in colon cancer. There were five research articles we were supposed to read, and I started reading them yesterday on the plane. The first one was all about some molecular pathway that is involved with colon cancer cell death. Not too exciting. Then, the second paper talked about the same pathway, which is apparently involved in the mechanism of action of a certain drug. Ok, a little more interesting, and I noticed it was work done by the same group a few years later. The third paper talked about a phase I clinical trial, done by the same group and published a few years after the second paper.

Finally, I got the point of this seemingly endless barage of research papers describing these pathways--they are showing the development of this treatment based upon the molecular biology that this research group had been studying. In the seminar, the speaker noted that the drug regimen is now in Phase II trials. I think it would have been better if we'd been given a couple of review papers on the background pathways to prepare us, and then they could have told us the research "story" in class. But anyway, I eventually stumbled across a purpose for it in the end.

We don't have FCM any more for the rest of this year, so I had a couple of hours to study after class, and then I went to clinic. I was really dragging by then, but I got through the day, and I even finished my SOAP note for this week. My preceptor is going on vacation the week after next, so I am going to do my observed H & P next week.

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