Posts tagged curriculum

Medical Education, Beware the Hidden Curriculum

The hidden curriculum is taught by the school, not by any teacher…something is coming across to the pupils which may never be spoken in the English lesson or prayed about in assembly. They are picking-up an approach to living and an attitude to learning.

-Dr. Roland Meighan

Phases of the Bipolar Spectrum.
Our mood is always in a constant state of flux. In patients with bipolar disorder, the mood can swing quite dramatically into the highs and lows. They can be pleasantly but intensely perked up one visit or severely and suicidally depressed the next.
This diagram, adapted from the citation above, hopes to illustrate this.

Phases of the Bipolar Spectrum.

Our mood is always in a constant state of flux. In patients with bipolar disorder, the mood can swing quite dramatically into the highs and lows. They can be pleasantly but intensely perked up one visit or severely and suicidally depressed the next.

This diagram, adapted from the citation above, hopes to illustrate this.

Toxins and Antidotes.
This is an exercise that everyone is welcome to try.
Imagine a patient coming into the emergency department having suffered an overdose or severe exposure to a toxin listed on the left. How would you treat them?
On the right is a list of antidotes. Match each toxin to its correct treatment. More than one antidote could be used for each toxin or it may not be used at all. Submit your answers below.

Toxins and Antidotes.

This is an exercise that everyone is welcome to try.

Imagine a patient coming into the emergency department having suffered an overdose or severe exposure to a toxin listed on the left. How would you treat them?

On the right is a list of antidotes. Match each toxin to its correct treatment. More than one antidote could be used for each toxin or it may not be used at all. Submit your answers below.

One-Half: A Year in Review

With two months to organize myself for the coming year, it has given me a lot of time to think about the last year. Three-eighths of the way, I gave a review of the first term of second year. Now, another term complete and having earned half my M.D. title, it feels right to write another summary. 

Given that it is the largest organ by surface area, it was amusing to see dermatology condensed into a single week. I suppose once you know the ABCDEs of categorizing skin lesions, you are well equipped to handle any situation. However, sometimes lesions are vague or very similar in appearance to others. Land mine or dud? Tread carefully.

Then came the brain. Over a gruelling two month period, we explored the deepest anatomical corners of the brain, learned tracts from top to bottom, and studied behaviour and psychology. The challenges of this block were two fold. First, some of the concepts were difficult to abstract, especially understanding the relation and integration of various tracts, in itself a complex web of interactions. Secondly, due to the complexity of the brain, some concepts could not be covered without mentioning other points of interest that would be covered further in the block. It was constantly a struggle to keep up with concepts A and B, when concept B was to be further discussed a few weeks later. Only at the end of the block could we  finally see the big picture.

After the struggles above, we went down into the reproduction block, a simple and easy to follow curriculum that was a welcome change of pace. This block was noteworthy for its overabundance of graphic pictures and videos and the fair warning to the ladies of our class to be weary of advanced maternal age. 

The last block, following the reproductive block nicely was paediatric and adolescent development. The big talking points in this block were milestones and nutrition factoids. The key to understanding this block was to memorize the facts cold. Getting the short end of the stick, the study time for this block suffered in light of its close proximity to our final exams. We held our breath that the few factoids we tried to memorize each day would stay fresh enough in our minds for the exam. 

Histology, pathology, and anatomy continued to be integrated into the curriculum wherever it applied. Anatomy in particular took centre stage for the brain, while histology was important for the skin, the brain, and for reproduction.

Family practice and clinical skills courses continued to give us exposure to the routines we would need to know for our careers. 

The exams this term were again challenging. I would rank them as equal to those from last term. The questions that caused me the most difficulties were the scenario questions. Reading and digesting the information presented in the scenario took time and slowed me down to a panic. Time was of the essence and I had to work fast. I dreaded every one of these questions.

For my rural rotation, which is actually part of my third year, I have already written my thoughts on that in a prior post. Now I am just trying to get my affairs in order and enjoy the summer while I still can.

Development of the Human Embryonic Brain from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

We were shown this video in class as part of a lecture on the biology of learning and memory. No matter how you look at it, it is impressive how much the brain grows in size, swelling with newly formed neurones who spread their fingerlike synapses impulsively through the far corners of the neurological system.

Critical Periods of Human Development.

Critical Periods of Human Development.

Final Month

Two years of lecture-based medical education has come down to these last four weeks. I have sat in lectures for so many years now that it seems unreal that that reality will soon be coming to an end.

Following two weeks of exams, I will begin a one-month summer clerkship that is the stepping stone to third year, where the true medicine starts. The anxiety and excitement of change is slowly building up inside me. These are the final moments of another chapter in my story.

Birth by Nucleus Medical Media.

At first we were treated to this conceptual video of the labour process. Later on, we were shown vignettes of actual labour and deliveries. For both the initiated and uninitiated in the class, we were given front row seats to the whole process in up-close, graphic detail.

Late Night Suturing.
A group of us came together tonight to practice some suturing techniques before our assessment later in the week. We came loaded: a box of suture kits, a set of sterile fields, and the requisite pigs’ feet from the local butcher shop. This was our chance to figure out the kinks before being put on the spot. Here I practice the very commonly done vertical mattress suture, with mixed results. 

Late Night Suturing.

A group of us came together tonight to practice some suturing techniques before our assessment later in the week. We came loaded: a box of suture kits, a set of sterile fields, and the requisite pigs’ feet from the local butcher shop. This was our chance to figure out the kinks before being put on the spot. Here I practice the very commonly done vertical mattress suture, with mixed results. 

Ovulation by Nucleus Medical.

We have been getting into some fresh new content by switching gears away from the brain and moving into the reproductive system. Here is a short summary of the chain of events that leads to ovulation.