Monday, September 10, 2012

One Month

Just wanted to update everybody and let them know that I have officially been in Grenada for a month !! Its hard to believe that I haven't been in the US for such a prolonged period of time but I guess I am just used to everything here on the island. It all seems pretty normal now......except for the 30 minute wait for Subway. Classes are going well and we actually have our first examination next Monday. It is called the 'Unified Quiz.' Basically it is a multiple choice quiz with 25 questions per class. It will make up about 7% of our grade for each class and more than anything, it is used to gauge where you are in terms of studying. It will give us an indication as to whether we need to change our study habits or stick to what is working.

In other news, I finally found the fruit stand that sells a variety of Grenada fruit on campus. I got gnips, or skin-ups as they are locally known (see earlier post) and I got this fruit called carambola, or starfruit as it is locally called. I love fruit so much so it is awesome to have them come onto campus and sell the fruit to us because that eliminates a 90 minute trip to the grocery store. The best part though is that I only spent 5 EC (eastern caribbean dollars) on the fruit which is about $2 USD. So cheap! It will be plenty to last me the week. Pics of the fruit are below so you can see. Have a great week everybody !

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Real Texans Drink Cold Beer

So the title of this post would describe my week in a nutshell. Real Texans Drink Cold Beer is the first (of many) mnemonics that medical students use to remember different orders or organization of things in medicine. This week in anatomy we started going over the brachial plexus, and in an effort to remember the organization of the nerves (Roots, Trunks, Divisions, Cords, and Branches)in the plexus, we used this mneumonic. The upper limbs and axillary regions are extremely complicated and the information is finally starting to stick in my head which is nice. This upcoming week we are moving onto the different organ systems in anatomy.....I think we have the lungs on Thursday in fact.

We had our first anatomy lab this week!! For anatomy lab, which goes on for 4 hour and 15 minutes, we have a small group discussion section, the wet lab, and the dry lab. The small group discussion starts at 7:45 on Tuesdays (for me) and the first hour is spent with standardized patients (basically paid actors from the community) and we practice physical examination skills on them. The topic for lab this week was the back, spinal cord/vertebrae, and shoulder so all of the parts of the examination were centered around those areas. The second hour of the small group discussion is spent in a group of about 7 people and we have these clinical cases with different diseases/problems/questions that we have to answer about the various weekly topics. For example, we had a case about a patient who needed a spinal tap and the questions were all associated with that. The next hour of anatomy lab is spent in the actual cadaver lab. This is the big part of anatomy lab that everybody looks forward to. The cadavers were already prosectioned for us and we went around in groups and had about 8 minutes at each station. At each station (deep back muscles, for example) we had a list of muscles, nerves, blood vessels, anatomical landmarks, etc. that we have to identify and know for the exam. The coolest part was the presence of the visiting professors that walk around the lab and help us identify everything. We had one professor from Albert Einstein SOM, another from Harvard SOM, and one from Loma Linda SOM. After wet lab, we moved into the hour long dry lab session which is learning how to read x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds. Dry lab was pretty sweet too, especially learning how to work the ultrasound machine.

The rest of the week was just spent in the normal classes and of course the histology and bioethics groups that meet throughout the week. Studying is going well and I keep getting better at making my studying more productive by learning what methods work best for these classes.

Our books arrived this week (after the boat that was bringing them got lost somewhere) and one of the biggest aids has been the Gray's Anatomy, Netter's Anatomy Atlas, and the Gray's Review Questions. The Gray's review questions are supposedly very similar to how the questions are asked on our exams. When I first saw these questions I couldn't believe that I would ever be able to answer them.

So you all can see what I am learning, here is a question I just answered before updating the blog:

A 45-year-old man is admitted to the hospital after a car crash. Radiographical examination reveals mild disk herniations of C7, C8, and T1. The patient presents with a sensory deficit of the C8 and T1 spinal nerve dermatomes. The dorsal root ganglia of C8 and T1 would contain cell bodies of sensory fibers carried by which of the following nerves?

A. Medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve
B. Long thoracic nerve.
C. Lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve
D. Deep branch of ulnar nerve
E. Anterior interosseus nerve

It's truly amazing how much I have already back to studying :)
Have a nice week everybody!