As I go into week 6 of Advanced Cases 1, I can’t quite believe I’m nearly halfway through this block! Recently, we’ve been learning about vulnerable patients and viruses. We’ve explored topics such as what factors can make someone vulnerable (age, pre-existing conditions etc), and common viral conditions that we will likely see frequently as we move into more clinical teaching, such as norovirus and HIV.
Last Thursday I had a communication skills session on decision making, which introduced us to some different ways of using various types of reasoning to reach a diagnosis. The session was completely interactive, and we were given a patient presentation line by line and had to come up with and change our differentials as new information was given to us. The patient was introduced as mid 70s at first, leading us to think of the chronic conditions of older age, but then halfway through the patient age was changed to mid-teens. This meant we had to change all our differentials from chronic to acute illnesses, which helped us think about what factors actually alter our most likely diagnosis.
This term I have also taken on the role of student seminar teacher, running weekly sessions for first years along with two other second years. We delivered our first session this week, and it was interesting for us to re-visit topics from last year, with all the associated memories of struggling to understand the concept of peritoneum. One thing we’re keen to impress on our group of first year students is that although the course can seem overwhelming at first, things will start to fall into place and make sense as they move through the blocks.
Our three areas of focus for this week’s session were gastrointestinal anatomy, endocrinology and embryology. The first years really seemed to find the session helpful, which was a great feeling. I delivered the GI anatomy part, and tried to make it as interactive as possible by using cling film to explain peritoneum. It was slightly daunting to teach at first, but nice to try and break down some of these topics to make them slightly easier to digest (no pun intended).
This week I also had my introduction to theatres, during which I spent a morning in theatre with an orthopaedic surgeon. The introduction was just that; a session for us to familiarise ourselves with the general environment and the roles of the various people in the surgical team. The surgeries I saw were foot and ankle orthopaedics. I’ve spent time in internal surgery (heart, lungs, liver) previously, but never in orthopaedics, so it was interesting to see the difference – mostly the use of power tools! The whole experience left me with a taste to spend more time in theatres next term and hopefully become more familiar and comfortable in this environment.
This weekend I am attending a course to train to deliver Basic Life Support (BLS) training. I am really excited about getting involved in peer teaching generally and the training to deliver BLS is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. It’s going to be a busy weekend, but good for my personal and professional development.