Ah God. I'm terrible at keeping up with the blog, even in my down time. I think i'll start setting reminders to update ya'll on the busy schedule that we keep. hopefully you actually find this kind of stuff interesting......
This post will probably be a bit long, as I have a lot to catch you up on! Lots of photos and captions to go with them to fill you in!
We started a new block in the middle of February - Microbiology and Pharmacology. It was a very interesting and intense block! I think it was harder for me than Anatomy, which is supposed to be the hardest course in our curriculum. But, hey, I got through it and passed with flying colors!! It's amazing what the human mind can absorb in such a short time.
The weekend of Feb 27th, a few of my classmates and I flew to New Haven, CT to hang out at Yale Medical School for the weekend. We attended the "Klingenstein Games," a conference focused around adolescent and child psychiatry. You can read more about the Klingenstein family and their generous work in the medical field here. My first year classmate, Richmond, and a second year, Arya, and I put together this literature review of long-term psychiatric complications following pediatric traumatic brain injury. In summary, we don't know a lot of the long term effects of brain trauma on youth, but it has been linked to increased rates of mental illness and disorders like ADHD. We need better definitions of traumatic brain injury and a better understanding of disorders in the pediatric populations.
Amidst the studying for microbiology-learning about the crazy bugs that can infiltrate our systems and pharmacology-drugs that are both helpful and harmful and how they work, I snuck in another poster presentation at the Mayo Young Investigators Symposium. This time, it reflected my work in Neurosurgery that I have been involved in since August 2015. I presented on Coma and Stroke occurrence following surgical treatment of unruptured aneurysms. My lab does "Big Data" projects - analyzing billing data and mandated reported variables by hospitals about patient complications and care. Traditionally, a classic research project is known to be a double blind study- where you have a control group and an experimental group. In this type of experiment, patients and those administering treatment don't know if the patient is receiving the experimental drug/application/etc or a placebo. However, we can't do this kind of experiment in a lot of situations. We can't assign you to be a smoker, or to have diabetes. Instead, we use past data to analyze how patients with different types of conditions faired after different procedures and in different environments. This paper will be published soon in the journal World Neurosurgery, so I'll post a link as soon as it's out.
Oh, did I forget to mention? Jeff moved to Rochester mid Feb. It's been awesome having him here, but I know that he misses Michigan a lot, as do I. His mom, Terri Jo, came to visit as soon as Micro and Pharm were over. It was great to see her and hang out for the weekend! We went on plenty of hikes, Jeff got to swim in the hotel pool a lot, and we ate some great food around town.
Since Micro and Pharm ended in the beginning of April, we have had three weeks of Selective time, our time to shadow/volunteer/or participate in some sort of organized medical activity. The first week, I'll admit, I took as pure vacation. I was sick with a head cold, and I was down and out from the tough and rough micro and pharm block. Jeff and I laid around and watched all six seasons of White Collar - I know that is depressing, but REAL. :) If you haven't watched the show, it's a great one to binge watch.
The second week, I participated in a Regenerative Medicine Selective, learning about 3D printing, stem cells, and regenerative applications. We saw some ridiculously cool things, including stem cell injections in research animals, I exposed a tiny mouse heart (Which beats at about 500-600 beats per minute), I ultrasounded a tiny mouse, we saw a beating pig heart that was not in a pig, we saw a 3D printer making an aortic valve (which I'm holding in the picture below), we educated high schoolers about stem cells and what they can be used for, and so much more!! It was a really awesome week. If you have questions about stem cells, or think that they are unethical, EMAIL ME. There are so many VERY ethical ways to collect and use stem cells (and these are not from embryos). Stem cells are the future, so man up and get educated! Below, my classmate Ethan educates high schoolers about stem cells and their differentiation states.
This last week of selective, I'm on research.
In my off time for the past three weeks, Jeff and I picked up some cheap bikes and we've been tearing up the town, finding out crazy things and seeing things like hot air balloons taking off! We have biked about 75 miles this week, including a long ride in Lanesboro, MN where we explored the Root River Trail. It's been a ton of fun and a great way to get outside. It's been in the 60s-80s here, and I really can't reconcile being in the air-conditioned gym alone during those sunny, beautiful days when I could be outside and hanging with Jeff. We've also been hitting balls at the driving range when we can.
Of course, no blog post would be complete without mention of my furry friend. Purkinje is staying cute as ever. We took him to the vet last week. He's lost a lot of weight since Jeff moved here because he exercises him for up to an hour a day! Last year when I took him in, he weighed in at 16lbs. We assumed he had stopped growing, as his estimated age is 4-5years (he was found on the streets and I adopted him so his age was unknown). I think he has been growing in frame, because he looks so lean now, and he weighed in at a surprising 18 lbs!!! My big boy!
More soon. Keep it REAL.
M3 at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine