Day 23: A brief encounter with death

Today’s inane images of the day:

I usually despise anything even faintly orange-tinted… but I made an exception for this beauty!

How trippy is this flower?! You should see it in real life — gorgeous!

Well, I made it safely home last night at around 1:30AM… my flight landed slightly later than scheduled and it took awhile to get from the airport to the parking lot where my car was. Add that to the fact that I live nearly an hour away, and you get a very tired medical student who still had two chapters worth of a medical interview text to read. Somehow, I completed the reading and survived a very full day without a nap or passing out.

Today was our first practice with medical interviewing as well as the first encounter with our cadaver in Anatomy lab.

For the interviewing practice, we actually split up into small groups of 3 and did role playing. I lost in nose goes and was forced to be the “physician” first. One of my TBL group members was my patient… and let me tell you, it was nearly impossible to not let giggles escape. For example, he referred to his son as “brother” and told me that his family only meets for very important occasions such as Abe Lincoln’s birthday and flag day. I kid you not.

Although I had fun, I was slightly annoyed that pointers about open ended questions were given after I had strained to maintain a 15 minute interview with a patient who takes great pride in celebrating flag day. Plus, this embarrassing footage was recorded. Yes! I will have to relive it over and over again in the future!

Afterwards, it was my turn to be a patient, and I assure you that I was a fabulous model patient.

From there, we went to our second anatomy lecture [and as always, Dr. Bee was enthusiastic and ready to make us fall in love with the subject]. I remember walking toward the classroom and noting a stranger walking out of the door. Once I was on the other end of the door, it became apparent that I didn’t recognize any of the heads that were in the back row. For a split second, I worried that I had walked into the wrong lecture hall, but as I sat down, I remembered that we were taking anatomy alongside Physical Therapy [PT] students.

Each of our anatomy groups has a couple of medical and a couple of PT students. This actually made for an extremely positive dissection experience [at least in our group] because our PT students were much more familiar with structures and names. Not to say that we were unprepared… but really, all of us have been busy cramming in biochemistry and cell biology and immunology and microbiology that anatomy kind of took a backseat. I don’t know about my classmates, but I definitely felt unprepared.

I also felt unprepared to face our cadaver for the first time. Since we were the second group in, she had already had her skin and most of the adipose tissue removed. We do not see our cadavers’ faces since they are covered until we work in the head region. So imagine how eerie it is to walk into your first anatomy dissection [ever] to find a body [with a covered face] and flaps of skin open to reveal the musculature beneath. She had such human features, yet nothing felt real about her at all.

Although I wasn’t emotionally impacted by the situation during the dissection [I think the situation was too surreal to be able to comprehend what was going on], afterwards, it seemed to hit me like a pile of textbooks — I had my first true encounter with death.


2 thoughts on “Day 23: A brief encounter with death

  • September 7, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Excellent post! Good luck on your mini TBL tomorrow!

    Anatomy sounds like it’s going to be an interesting ride. Look forward to reading more.


Comments are closed.