Have you ever had a day when everything just "clicks"? I finally did!! Had a lot of general pathology today which is a very interesting course as it is the first time we are learning the science of how things go wrong.
We have an amazing professor who uses great analogies to help us get the concepts and is a big supporter of jumping right in and getting in there, "you learn nothing from the sidelines and we are all here to learn from every ones mistakes" are his famous quotes. He expects a lot of us and ensures everyone gets a chance to practice.
So far we have been learning how to describe lesions, come up with morphological diagnoses and learning the pathology behind things like the different kinds of abscess', cell death, organ change, etc.
The class really comes into its own though during the labs. The labs are held in the pathology seminar room, and 24 students from the class head down and working in pairs diagnose a lesion. The rest of the class then enters the bleachers and the 24 students take turns going through their specimens with the prof correcting them at the end of their presentation, I unfortunately was in the first group of students to have to do this.....
So I have a brain covered with these little black spots. Description: random multifocal to coalescing black round lesions 2mm to 5 mm in size. The lesions are invasive into the cortex and not well demarcated. morphological diagnosis: multifocal melanosarcoma of the brain. Sounds impressive right? after only 1 lecture? AmAZING! (fortunately the profs other favorite quote is "you are allowed to remember" and I remembered the brain from a photo in the previous lecture ;) ) This is never the less a harrowing experience as you stand in front of your peers blowing smoke out your you know what and preparing to get a lecture from the prof on how everything you just said is wrong.
And yet I am amazed at how much we have learned. We actually sound like doctors!! Another component of the class is a seminar at 430-530 Tuesdays and Thursdays as the clinical pathologists from the schools diagnostics center for the public presents interesting cases from during the week. Not only did I understand everything in seminar today but I actually was able to clarify some lingering questions from a case I saw this summer!!!
It is so nice to be learning something that comes off as being so relevant to our future careers, but also that I understand it!! This is reassuring....
Pathology lab during open house:
the room has an amazing video and live streaming televisions so no matter where you sit you always can see the good parts!