Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Medical Microbiology

Yesterday I started my Medical Microbiology elective. Medical Micro is a department of Clinical Pathology. When we sent all of those blood and urine cultures off during my medicine rotation last month, this is where they wind up. It's not the most exciting rotation because I don't get to do very much in the lab, but it's interesting to see what's involved with processing the samples. I have a lot more appreciation now for how much time and work is involved. The other main thing we do is go on lab rounds each day to look at whatever interesting pathology has come up. That's pretty neat because you see all kinds of bizarre path at CCF. Yesterday we saw Strongyloides (parasitic worms) from brain tissue. Today we saw Yersinia enterocolitica (bacterium) from a blood culture, which is also unusual. I was at the bench where that was found, so for once I knew more about the case than any of the residents or fellows did. Ha!

I also learned that a medical technician is a two year degree, while a medical technologist is a four year degree. Medical technologists can get a job as soon as they get out of college, and it's a very high demand field with a shortage of workers. There is a training program for it here at CCF. It sounds like a pretty good deal for someone who doesn't want to be in school for eight years, only to follow up with a minimum 3-4 years of residency.

These past two days have been very chill and relaxed. Yesterday I came in at 9:00 and left at 3:30. Today was a "long day" because I came in at 7:30 and left at 5:30. Tomorrow I have to be in at 9:00 again. I have three or four hours every day to spend reading, which I absolutely love. Compared to medicine and surgery, this feels like some kind of vacation. Even the weather today was gorgeous. Just to reinforce that I made the right choice not to jump into Core II right after finishing Core I, this morning I ran into one of the UP students who was on Core I with me. I asked how OB/gyn was going, and the general gist is that it really sucks. Uh oh....

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