Sunday, February 16, 2014


I spent the last week in nephrology. It was really tough, but fun. I think it's safe to say that I pretty much still have no idea what's going on with those crazy retroperitoneal organs that filter everything, but it's still much better than I was before. I actually kind of enjoyed the challenge.

The teachers in that department were a bit more "interesting" than some of the other places we've been. One professor found the need to insult our Polish skills at every given opportunity and then proceeded to drop us off at patients and leave us there alone to take histories- knowing full well that even the best persons Polish wasn't enough to get us through the exam. It was actually pretty annoying. I mean, if you don't want to be bothered with students, why volunteer to teach us? We don't need much, just someone to translate. Yes we want to know Polish, we are in Poland after all but making the patient and us suffer when we're taught everything in English is kind of silly. 

This same doctor found the need to berate the patients for not knowing their exact lab values- I mean what patient knows those? I'm in med school and I don't even know the values of the last blood test I had. Most of the patients she took us to wanted nothing more than for us to go away, and I really can't blame them. She also had a habit of dropping us in a hallway with a handful of x-rays/CT's and saying, "I'll be back, and when I do you can tell me what's wrong." Usually the x-rays were pretty easy, but with the harder ones it was really annoying to be left for 30+ minutes with not even a remote clue about what was going on only to have her come back and play 50 questions with us. Finding new and improved ways to ditch students seems to be a repeating trend here. 

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Besides her, most of the teachers in the department were really great. Yeah one guy in my group got in a shouting match with the one doctor, but I'm pretty sure the doctor was right and the student was just having a bad day. We spent a lot of time watching ultrasounds and biopsies. My friend even got to numb one patient up for a biopsy! Even though I didn't really get to do anything it was so much fun to watch her do it. It was even more fun to watch her try to put on five pairs of sterile gloves and trying not to contaminate them. We should really have a class called 'sterile gloves 101.' The irony of the whole situation was that the window was open, and even if she and the doctor were wearing masks, frocks, and the whole get up- no one else in the room was. 

All in all I really wish we could have spent another week in nephrology- but with the better doctors.   Not just because I really need to learn more before I can even begin to be proficient but because even if it was stressful at times, it was also a lot of fun. 

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