We had to go back to the Sim Center this morning for another four-hour session. Again, we were divided into four groups and we went to four different stations for an hour each. The first station was to practice presenting a patient to an attending. Of course, we all suck at it, but I got the message that we'll get very good at doing this in short order.
The second station was to start IVs and draw blood. It was run by the same anesthesiologist who taught us acid-base first and second year, the one who is really awesome. It was kind of a weird station because we had these rubber mannequin arms with veins, and we were supposed to put the venipuncture needles into the veins. When you got it in right, you would see a little bit of fake blood come up into the needle. What was funniest is how PC the whole thing was. There were some white (Caucasian) mannequin arms, and also some black arms.
The third station was to practice the female exam and deliver a baby. Again, this was all done with rubber bodies. Delivering the rubber baby from the rubber pelvis (complete with a rubber placenta that could be stuck to the inside of the uterus with velcro) was pretty bizarre! Then we had foam breasts with lumps in them, and we practiced doing the breast exam on those. I did a lot of breast exams in clinic with my preceptor, and these foam breasts aren't anything like real breasts! We also did a practice pelvic exam on, you guessed it, a rubber woman's pelvis. The os was amazingly easy to find, much easier than on a real woman. Each time I have done this exam for real, I have never been able to palpate the ovaries, and today was no different. But at least this time I had a good excuse, because the rubber pelvis didn't have any ovaries, just a uterus. :-P
The last station was for the male exam. We did practice rectals on rubber male rear ends. There were four of them set up, one with a normal prostate, one with benign prostatic hyperplasia, one with an early tumor (which I wouldn't have been able to palpate if I hadn't known it was there), and one with an advanced tumor (which was so obvious by palpation that the only way you could miss it was by not doing the rectal exam at all). Then we practiced catheterizing rubber male and female urethras. When you got the catheter in far enough, it would dribble fake urine. Since men have a long urethra, you really have to push the catheter a long way to get to the bladder. I went to catheterize the female model afterward, and got the catheter into the bladder immediately. This is the difference between having a 20 cm long urethra (men) versus a 4 cm long urethra (women).
This was the end of our session at the Sim Center. We went back to the Clinic, and a bunch of us had lunch with the new first years. The power was out in the Education building (I guess because of the storm last night), so it was really hot, humid, stinky, and dark inside. After the lunch, the first years went off to do whatever they had to do, and we had a class meeting about rotation and research requirements. I have already met with Dean Franco about how I want to schedule my last three years of med school, and she thought my plan was fine. My research PI was also ok with it. I'll mention more about it in another post, but briefly, I will be alternating back and forth between clinics and research over the next three years.
After the class meeting, we were done for the day. I went over to Case to get my PPD test done, then went home. I have to be back at 7 AM tomorrow morning, so this is going to be it for tonight.