Wednesday, 16 January 2013

2nd Semester

Learning how to properly put personal protective equipment on and when to and how to appropriately wash our hands :)

After a good 3 week winter holiday break we immediately dove into our classes this semester. This is what we are taking.

1. Obstetrics/Gynecology - This course has self-directed lectures with an in class discussion on assignments and cases. Here we are learning about the physiological changes during pregnancy and what to expect during labor. We also look into some diseases and issues that can occur.

2. Psychiatry - As the name implies we will be studying the conditions of the human mind :)

3. Adult Medicine - This course will take place this semester and the next. (Yes! We have a third semester which follows this. Our third semester continues until August.) Adult Medicine is broken up into blocks of the different systems. The first one we are looking into is renal and gastrointestinal. This also includes a CI (curricular integration) component. In CI we are given a short case where we discuss our differential diagnosis, what we would ask in our history of patient illness, past medical history and family history. We then discuss what we would do in our physical exam and what tests we would order and how we would use this information to rule out or decide on our differential diagnosis. An example of the case we did last week was "A 48 male comes in with edema". This is broad to get us thinking of all the different causes of edema.

4. Pharmacology - A continuation from last semester. We will continue to learn the different drugs with the pharmacy students. This will include psychotics and other drugs we did not cover in first semester. This also includes a case base study component also given in CI classes.

5. Curricular integration (CI) - CI is a course which is the bridge between class-based learning and clinical scenarios. Here is where we take what we have learned from Adult Medicine and Pharmacology and apply it to real cases found in patients. Time in this course is also given in topics that we feel need to be further explained.

6. Patient Assessment – This semester we will learn the cardiovascular, thorax, lungs, abdomen and comprehensive physical exams. We will also learn about the approach to a pediatric patient and continue to hone our history taking and communication skills.

7. Early Exposure  - I’m very excited for this! Here we are shadowing physician assistants and doctors in the different medical fields. I will let you know how it goes each week :)


On our second day back the 2nd year PA class presented some clinical cases they had on their rotations. I did not understand most of what they presented :S. I had this overwhelming confused feeling and thought to myself “Is this how much I should know next year?” All I can do is put my faith in the program. The faculty said not to worry and that the 2nd years were at the same point as we were a year ago and to look at where they are now. 

I must admit it has been hard to get back into the groove of things. We have our first two exams scheduled Jan 28th and at least one exam each week following until finals.

More to come. I will try to update once a week. Thanks for dropping by!


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  2. The second semester is very important for every students as they have to write a lot of lab works, graduate projects, essays and so on. Interesting to know, how did you comeplete your own 2nd semester and what year was the best for you? And do you know what is a culminating project? Thank you