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Clinical Correlation

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The curriculum for my school is different from most other schools in many ways, one being that we don’t take our USMLE Step 1 exams until after 3rd year (where as most schools take them after 2nd year).  The logic behind this model is that after having spend a year doing rotations, we will better have a clinical grasp on the information learned 2nd and 3rd year and will therefore do better of the USMLE exam (there are studies to suggest that as well).

I had an ER rotation this morning that has convinced me more than ever that this may just work (since I didn’t completely belive scientific evidence and all).  We are currently in the cardiology portion of our Cardiopulmonary course. which means I can now look at and ECG and not be completely loss. And I understand even more about the circulation.  And I’ve learned lots more physiology.

So I go to the attending and the first thing I’m given to do is read an ECG.  I’ve had it explained to me in a very rushed fashion twice before (at an ER) and didn’t get much out of it.  This time, I knew what I was supposed to be looking for.  Using what I’ve learned in class – check!  Then, I saw an ECG of an individual who they decided was having a STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction).  I got to follow the cardiologist to the cath lab and watch as he put contrast in the heart to find the possible blockage (a last, there was none – good for the patient, bad for me).  Again, I was able to use information I learned in class to determine what I was looking at on the screen.

I know I have so much more to learn but it feels great when I see the clinical application of the information I’m learning.  It makes me excited to learn more and see how it all works together.

The deans may have caught onto something here – only time will tell!

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About happilycb

I'm a general surgery resident and mother to a seven, going on 30, year old daughter.

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