So, as of the beginning of this year, I have been signed up for this Pre-Medical/Pre-Physician Assistant Program at the VA Hospital. Though it takes up quite a few hours in my week, I would say it’s really worth it. They pick fantastic speakers every week to come in and talk to us, which include both doctors and PAs. Also, I have really enjoyed my shift at the Emergency Dept this time around, minus a few bumps here and there (including the milestone that was getting my swipe access granted ID card). I also got to observe a doctor teaching a medical student how to insert a chest tube into a patient with a collapsed lung under local anesthesia and a multiple sclerosis patient.
On Saturday, Naomi and I signed up to volunteer at a physician workshop with one of our speaker physicians. At first glance, this physician was pretty intimidating because of how knowledgable and skilled he is. He was actually from another country, but come to the States because he wanted what he thought was a better medical internship experience (though his medical proper training from his home country is really astounding. He is able to diagnosis patients just by superficial examination and drawing schematics).
Now when we got the workshop, we assumed that there would be one student/participant per volunteer (which would have been a group of 2-4). Well instead we got 20 people poking at us with an ultra sound device while we were splayed about on a surgery stretcher. It was awesome.
I have never really taken a proper class strictly devoted to human anatomy. The closest I have gotten is vertebrates dissection, which was difficult in it’s own sense, but still not human anatomy. However at the workshop, I got a taste of how a medical class would be like. Our physician speaker was superb, able to draw cross section digram after cross section diagram from memory. Able to apply it to what they saw in the actual ultrasounds. Able to show what non-textbook scenarios would be like. I have never learned so much about muscles, nerves, vessels, and the spine in such a small area of my body in less than 2 hours.
Now the workshop was about techniques of where to inject localized anesthesia. Our physician speaker prefers using localized anesthesia versus general (aka when you get knocked out and don’t remember anything) because the risks associated with localized are less (headaches, nausea, bad reactions, ect.).
It was so great to see medical professionals and students ENJOYING the learning aspect of the workshop. They were so excited to try to visualize the nerve bundles and muscles and analyze where to stick their needles hypothetically. They asked intelligent questions, and were nice enough to teach me while they were examining my ultrasound.
They also complimented my “beautiful anatomy.” Apparently I have a very defined subcutaneous muscle and a gigantic radial artery. They also kept calling me skinny and hinted that I had massive amounts of tissues on my chest, which made visualizing my lungs difficult without proper amount of pressure applied. Granted my collarbone area, neck (both on the sides and right where my trachea lives), and armpit were manhandled, it was worth it. Plus I got the chance to get free lunch and the chance to meet a lovely sophomore pre-med.
God bless this program.