Saturday, April 4, 2015

Neurology

Since I've finished neurology I suppose I should tell you a little bit about it.

Really, there isn't much to say except I really enjoyed the course and learned a lot. It was the best course I've taken in medical school so far, except for maybe my electives. If anything the course actually made me consider neurology as a possible career course.

Scary I know.

My group was fortunate to have one of the younger doctors who was more hands on. The first thing we learned was how to do a neuro exam, which is easier said than done. There's a lot more to it than just hitting a person with a hammer. You have to know why you're hitting the person with the hammer, what to look for when hitting them, and where the abnormality is if you hit them and something weird happens.

We practiced on each other first because it's easier and faster to do in English than to figure out how to say it in Polish, especially when you're a mediocre at both (though I think by the end I could almost do the exam in Polish- almost). We quickly moved on to real patients which were a bit trickier since there were abnormalities in the exam.

The section of the department we were placed in had an overwhelming number of MS patients. So we got really good with all things MS. Because of this however, the variety of patients we saw was limited. For example, I don't think we saw any Parkinson's patients except maybe the one I spotted in the waiting room (the tremor really is a give away).

The ward next to us was a critical care section for more severe patients, we got to visit this area several times. They didn't have anyone on respirators but they had patients with encephalopathy and strokes which were stable. It's here that we did our first neurological exam on a semi-comatose patient. It was strange. We kept being very gentle with them in fear that we would hurt them, our doctor had to remind us to be more aggressive. Actually, now that I think about it (and after being the victim of it) the neurologists are kind of scary with their hammers.


We got to see a good number of spinal taps as well, which is something none of us had seen before. Our doctors made it look so easy! The only time I saw a patient moan in pain was when one of the professors did it (there is serious irony in this...) Unfortunately, the didn't let us try, but I can completely understand why.

Somewhere during the middle of this month long course there was a party downtown which I attended. Around 11pm I turned towards the dance floor to see two of my classmates doing a choreographed neurological exam.

Needless to say, it was a great course.

4 comments:

  1. I don't know if my last comment went to you but I had to log in so maybe I have to say it again

    You are pretty adept at telling a story. I felt like I was watching all the happenings through your eyes. This story was enlightening and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. MOAR plz? :)

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  2. By the way, I love neurology. Might be because I have a family history of people who suffer from neurological ails or just because I think the brain is wicked cool.
    Either way I find it all fascinating. Not a med student or even pre-med. Just think that stuff is interesting.

    And when I say "full" my family has had everything from
    epilepsy, seizure disorders, parkinsons, ms, and other neurological woes. Hehe so definitely fond of the field and give mucho props to those who are a part of it and improve the lives of those who have neurological disorders.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words. I love sharing stories about my life here- I have so many of them!
      Like your family my family is also filled with an array of disorders which I think made neurology hit home more than some of the other courses. I'm not sure if it's where I want to spend my entire career but we'll see!
      Thank you again!

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