Thursday, November 1, 2012

Genetics and Intubation

That's right - four more days till our third Monday in a row with an exam - this time it's our very first Genetics exam. It won't end there though, as this is just the third in a five-week streak of having an exam every Monday, with at least one double-Anatomy exam Wednesday thrown in there. I'm currently on track and have at least watched and taken notes on all of the lectures.

However, my personal method of studying includes going back through all the lectures with a fine-toothed comb, making flashcards along the way. It is a major pain, but always well worth it once cumulative exams come around. I also expect the extensive flashcard database will be pretty handy to have when it comes time to prepare for Step 1 as well, but who knows. All I know right now is that I've got about 15 hours of lecture to re-review for all three classes combined. That might sound like a lot, but it's actually not too bad. Especially since only three of them are for the upcoming Genetics exam.

Two days ago, I participated in an intubation clinic the other day, which was both awesome and sponsored by the Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) that I'm a part of. They brought in a lot of physicians from local emergency departments / groups and set up six stations. The students (first and second years) moved from station to station in groups of three or four, learning a different type of intubation at each station. We learned with straight blades (Miller) and curved blades (Macintosh), as well as with video scopes that had a camera at the tip hooked up to a great screen.

I had the unique experience of having actually seen a real intubation in a trauma situation while shadowing a doctor in my premed days, so I had an idea of what it entailed before going in. (By the way, the guy doing the intubation in that video is a serious pro.) While I'm sure that experience two years ago (holy COW, that time went by fast...) didn't give me any sort of "edge," I was able to pick it up pretty quickly. While most people preferred the Macintosh blade, I liked the Miller a little bit better. It was interesting when we got to the video scope though. The physician instructing us mentioned that it can be hard to match what you're doing with your hands with what is on the screen. When my turn came after he demonstrated, I quickly completed the intubation without making any slips or mistakes. He congratulated me, then quickly said, "You've played a lot of video games in the past, haven't you?" Ha! Apparently all that Halo playing during undergrad weren't completely useless after all!

I think my favorite part was using a bougie. It's an old-school method of intubation in which you first use the laryngoscope to gain a view of and access to the vocal chords in the larynx. You then insert this nifty, plastic rod called a bougie into the chords. You then slip the intubation tube over the bougie, using it like a guiding wire to get the tube in place. You can then remove the bougie and hook the tube up to a ventilator.

In other news, I was recently elected to the student council representing the Grand Rapids campus of MSU CHM. There are ten people from each campus (Grand Rapids and East Lansing) that get elected each year. I was also elected as the Grand Rapids Block I Committee representative, which means that I meet with the Curriculum Review Committee once each month to voice student concerns about our curriculum. Both the Block I Committee and Student Council were positions for which you needed to be nominated before elections were held, and I was honored to receive my nominations. So far, it has been a lot of fun getting involved in a variety of different scenarios. The CHM faculty do a great job of listening to student concerns and taking them into consideration when deciding how the school operates.

All right, enough self-indulgence. Back to more of this:



1 comment:

Susan said...

Intubation. Interesting. Didn't think there'd be different ways to do that. The things you're learning!

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