Wednesday, January 19, 2005

It's cold! (and snowing and blustery)

and chances are pretty good I'm going to have to dig my car out tomorrow morning. I have a clinical skills assement tomorrow morning and will be in preceptor dress, so I may have to get up early and go shovel it out in other clothes and then come in and change. I'll see what it looks like tomorrow.

Clinical skills assements are done in a simulated patient "lab" of sorts; standardized patients are trained "actors" who know how to present a realistic story (of an ache or pain or other medical conditon) and they answer our questions in character. The whole experience is videotaped and we're graded by our patients, the people watching our videos, and include a lot of self-critique comments. The last time we had a CSA we met with two patients, each for 14 minutes, and had 10 minutes to do a standard write-up. Tomorrow I'm meeting with 4 patients (17 minutes each, and a different set of write-ups) and the next time we do this we'll meet with 8 patients. I don't want to be the doctor that sees a new patient every 15 minutes, but I may not have much choice next year during my clerkships (time in the hospital/with patients in the office) and it's good practice for us to learn how to ask the "right" questions and figure out which parts of the physical exam we're going to need to do. I think the most nerve-wracking part is knowing that it's being videotaped, but hopefully by the third patient tomorrow I'll have forgotten all about it.

Tomorrow afternoon is full of cardiac pharmacology. I've been trying to keep up and get ahead in pharm, but now I'm finding that waiting to see how they introduce the drugs to us is helpful. It's amazing that some of the drugs we're using have been used for years and years, and we still aren't sure exactly how they work. Friday moring we have four hours of ekg interpertation, and the professor goes in order around the room having us do our best to tell him what we see. He left off a row in front of where I usually sit, so chances are pretty good that I'll be called on to answer some of his questions; tomorrow night will be full of me reviewing what we've done so far.

(good thing I can knit and read at the same time!)


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