Beginning to think like a doctor

Hello again! I just completed fourth trimester and I am now beginning the fifth one. I must say, I am excited for this trimester. Instead of feeling like I am sitting in all of my classes and getting “lectured at” (as I felt in some of the basic science classes). I can tell that my professors are encouraging us to engage and interact more.

For example, in my physical diagnosis class, our teacher was doing a mock patient history in which she was the patient and our class had to do a hypothetical case history on her. We were taught the “18 HPI” questions, which basically allow us to gather information about what
brings the patient in that day, and were able to use them in a mock setting. Based on what my classmates and I asked her and what her response was as the patient, we had to try and figure out what her diagnosis was.

Our professor pretended that she had amenorrhea (absence of her menstrual cycle) for four months, blurry vision, headaches and other symptoms. It was up to our class to put the pieces together and figure out that this patient could potentially have a pituitary tumor, also known as an adenoma. This exercise was a neat way to demonstrate how we can gather certain information while taking a patient’s history and put that information together in order to figure out what is  going onwith them.

Another example of a class being more interactive than those in previous trimesters was my Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal class. Our professor put us on the spot and asked, “Front row, which segmental levels are correlated with the biceps muscle?” We all could sense the pressure of him looking for one of us to answer and I blurted out “C5/C6.” I was nervous that my answer wasn’t correct, but thank goodness it ended up being right! I didn’t know how exactly I remembered the correct answer, but it felt good to be asked to think on the spot. At this point in the curriculum, we have learned an abundance of material and I am looking forward to applying a lot of that knowledge in more of a clinical setting now.

Kelly Serra, 5th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

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