Block III: With a Vengeance

Week 25

January 6 – 10, 2015

Block 3 of medical school was interrupted with two wonderful breaks, but now I am back. Or, maybe block 3 is back–with a vengeance. Exams loom just 3 weeks away, and with a new year beginning, it is only natural that I feel like making some changes. Four really important ones for me:

1.) To sleep more (7 hours a night)

2.) To drink more water (at least 1 L a day)

3.) Floss EVERYDAY

4.) Read one chapter of Bible a day

I have tried New Year’s resolutions time and again. I have usually failed. One of the hardest things to change in the entire world is human behavior. It is kind of embarrassing that most of my resolutions revolve around basic hygiene, but it is sure a cleanse of some sort. I am particularly determined to see them through. And, when I fail, to keep going.

The Block 3 Battle is coming. I need to be awake, hydrated, and renewed so instead of block III saying, “I’m back with a vengeance,” I can say. “You’re back? I’m back. Bring it.”

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Stigma and Disease 

Case certainly did not ease us back into life with the IQ cases we had. Celiac Disease and viral and autoimmune Hepatitis were our diseases. Hepatitis, especially, was a bit draining to research. Acute v Chronic. A, B, C, D, E ahh so many. How are they alike how are they different? Celiac Disease was much more contained in the information provided to us. Many students see PBL or IQ cases as just sources of medical information. I try though to consider what the patients could be like as people. l am sure I was the only person to consider this, but I couldn’t help but think about the differences in how the medical cases were presenting to us. In the Celiac case, the man, Lloyd Duncan was a white farmer with a long history of diarrhea. In the hepatitis case, the woman, Julie Brown (race unidentified) had 7 sexual partners in the past year and eventually had a very bad form of autoimmune hepatitis (also Hep B antibodies were found).

Celiac Disease is a genetic and epigenetic disease. Some consider it a disease product of life in the “developed world.” I know several people with it. You do not get it for being to dirty or obese, but for more unclear reasons. The gluten-free craze in America has actually been a great thing for these people, because they can have more food options for them. Although a difficult disease, it is easily managed with a gluten-free diet. There is essentially no stigma. It usually affects type 1 diabetics, people of European ancestry, the Middle East, South America, and North Africa. It is 2-3x more common in women and men. Perhaps, this is why I considered it a mysterious disease of privilege even though it is not necessarily.

Viral hepatitis seems like a “dirty disease.” Its etiology is much clearer as it is infectious. Autoimmune hepatitis is still pretty confusing. Some forms of hepatitis (like B in particular here) can be contracted sexually. Contaminated water (with feces or etc), IV drug usage, anal sex, or sex with someone who someone who has it — you name it all put someone at risk. I took a distinct look at how these cases were presented. The woman with viral and then autoimmune hepatitis did not have health insurance either.

As a medical professional one day will I think on patient is more distasteful than the other? So many assumptions can be made about how someone contracts a type of hepatitis, and I sincerely hope that my personal ideas do not infringe on my practice. Given the history of Julie Brown, would I have assumed before testing that she just had Hepatitis B and not autoimmune hepatitis?

Tuesday, Friday: Chef Tolu’s Kitchen

One of my favorite ways to de-stress now at days (besides watching Parks and Rec) is cooking! I have an auntie who says, “It does not matter how many degrees you have, your place is in the kitchen.” Although I vehemently disagree with this statement (LOL), I think that medical school does not have to be an excuse to not have fun experimenting with new recipes. Using my hands to create something delicious is not only fun but relaxing! Cooking reminds me that despite the craziness, I can still do normal things.

Sweet potato fries! I am getting better at cutting them up.
Sweet potato fries! I am getting better at cutting them up.
One of my many cooking snap stories
One of my many cooking snap stories
I made chicken noodle soup from scratch!
I made chicken noodle soup from scratch!

Friday: Surprising Avia

I had the fabulous honor of keeping a secret and seeing the result. A few friends and I had a hand in surprising my friend, Avia for her birthday! My friends in Cleveland are really starting to feel like a family away from home.

In which we surprise Avia!
In which we surprise Avia!
Our birthday girl
Our birthday girl
My candids! The fabulous Paul and Christa
My candids! The fabulous Paul and Christa

Saturday: The Ball of Hippocrates

Hippo Ball is Case Med’s formal of the year. I joked with friends saying that it was good to see everyone looking like their best selves – much better than looking sleep-deprived at 8 AM for IQ and/or lecture.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 9.21.44 PMSomething that struck my roommate and myself was how many people who attended as a couple who were not even dating. Is this Hippo Ball or Hippo Prom? Dang! I thought going stag to a med school party would at least be the norm! Going to a party with someone you are dating makes perfect sense to us but going with a friend? Why bother? The best part of the night, however, was seeing everyone looking their best and documenting the night with photographs :). The dancing wasn’t TOO bad either although the dance floor was a tad small. There wasn’t enough space to do the wobble! And, not enough of people knew how!!

The Indians stadium
The Indians stadium
Love this girl.
Love this girl.
Asian Appreciation Club Individuals
Asian Appreciation Club Individuals

Sunday: Who Was Andreas Vesalius?

GARQs (Gross Anatomy Response Questions) were done with team SMATCH (Sharif-Malik-Aaida-Tolu-Curtis-Heba).

So who was that guy? The most important doctor you have may have never heard of.

He was a Belgian anatomist and physician who is also called the FOUNDER of modern human anatomy. He lived from 1514-1564.

He also could draw really well. See below:

Andrae vesalii

Key Scientific findings:

  • Skeletal system is the framework of the human body
  • Sternum has three parts (Galen thought they were 5)
  • Disproved that man had one-less rib than women
  • Fibula and tibia bones of leg were larger than humerus bone of the arm (disproving Galen)
  • Vascular and circulatory system findings were greatest contribution
    • Galen’s porous interventricular septum was false.
    • Cardiac systole synchronous with arterial pulse
    • Described the Azygos system of veins
    • Discovered the canal between umbilical vein and vena cava
  • Nerves do not come from the heart but from the brain. (Aristotle believed they came from heart)
  • Studied the optic nerve and discovered that nerves were not hollow
  • Right kidney is higher than the left
  • Described the omentum and its connection with the stomach, spleen and colon.
  • Noted the small size of appendix and gave first good account of mediastinum and pleura.
  • **Said heart was not a true muscle because it does not have voluntary motion. This is wrong, but he realized that there was something special about heart.
  • Identified two chambers and two atria.

Additionally he:

  • He believed brain and nervous system are center of mind and emotion (not heart).
  • Said that medicine is arranged into 3 parts: drugs, diet, ‘the use of the hands.’

Today, most would describe medicine as more than just these things.  In fact, it seems so difficult to faction into parts. Maybe one day I will describe medicine with such powerful simplicity. But, do I want to? As I get ready for this exam, I have to remember that medicine is more than just facts. It’s something else that with time I will be better able to describe.

For now, I better get back to block III. YIPPEE KI-YAY!

Sorry, I watched Die Hard over break (again) with my sisters, and it has me rolling.


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