Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Organ Identification Trivial Pursuit

We started Body and Disease yesterday and had our first Basic Pathology Small Group (<-- that is the term on our schedule, but let's just call it Path Lab) today. It started off with gross identification of fixed normal tissues, some of which were hilar slices, some were mangled bits and some were more identifiable organs (like the heart).

We had to go around the room and say what organ we thought we had. The other PA student got the entire GU block and held a little impromptu walk through for all of the medical students. She did an amazing job and it was funny when the lab instructor asked her, "How do you know all this?" I chose to ID the spleen because they will always hold a special place in my heart as the first complex organ I ever got to *gross. There was a little accessory spleen in the attached hilar fat and I was so tickled that I was able to name it when our instructor asked if anyone knew what it was.

There was also a mangled bit of tissue that our instructor had set aside after announcing that it would be a tricky one. When they were going over the heart I picked it up just so I could look at it and blurted out, "Oh, it's a testicle." Note to self: Do not steal the instructor's thunder because no one likes a know-it-all.

I have to go back to studying now, we have 6 one hour lectures and 130+ pages of Janeway's Immunobiology to read for tomorrow's TBLs. I will definitely have to write about the TBL format more this weekend.

*I worked 2nd shift when I was grossing and we would **call in the pathologist to do complex specimens or hold them over for the next day if something was fatty and needed to fix more after being opened. I called the pathologist one night to tell her that there was a spleen and that I would put it in the fridge for her. She said that I knew what to do and to just go ahead and cut it in. It was terrifying and exciting and my dictation was probably at least 5 minutes long because it seems to be human nature that when you don't know what exactly to describe you just describe everything.

**As a point of pride when I first started working at the company they had just started the evening on-call thing for pathologists. They used to be called in nightly but over time as the other techs and I were able to be signed off on more and more specimens the need to have a pathologist come in at night dropped to a couple times a month.


  1. "Do not steal the instructor's thunder because no one likes a know-it-all."

    This is definitely not always true. It depends on how you come across dispensing your knowledge. If you do it arrogantly, then sure, no one likes it. But if you come across as humbly astute while knowing everything, then you'll be respected.

    had to clarify that

    1. Fair enough, but in this instance I think he was rather looking forward to having the class describe it and then put forth theories. The learning exercise was curtailed by having an existing ID; although, he did still have a student go through and describe the structures.

  2. When I taught, I LOVED students like you, engaged, bright, and obviously interested in the material. However, I do agree it's probably best to fly under the radar a bit in class because so many people in the world have WEAK egos (and quite frankly because you're a woman). I think it best to save the "smarty pants" for the exams and leave the other students wondering who ruined the curve, LOL!!!!

    PS- I was kidding about the smarty pants comment, smart women ROCK!!!!