Part of second year is attending the pathology lectures along with the residents. Yesterday's lecture was given by one of the dermatopathologists and it was really good! She lectured on alopecia and it finally makes sense why, where I used to work, we would bisect the punches for alopecia and embed the two halves differently. Plus, I was really pleased to see how much of the skin anatomy I remembered from way back in October. It is funny sometimes to realize just how much we learned in the past year and how much of it has been retained.
This week has been my first real surg path rotation and I'm at the VA where there are three staff pathologists and a forth year pathology resident. The PA students do the majority of the grossing at the VA, which is nice. It is lower pressure than Duke surg path and the workload is about what you would get a normal (not a research/academic) hospital, so a variety of smalls, frozens, and some larger specimens (colon, lung, amputations, etc) with a widely variable work load. I like it as a reintroduction to doing surgical grossing on a regular basis.
The residents are helpful and mindful that they're the first person we're likely to seek out for questions, which is nice. The one who was on rotation in July apparently sat in the gross room and did his slide sign out at the microscope we use for frozen section evaluation just so he could be on hand if someone had questions. He was a great person to have there for the first few weeks of rotations! Our resident now has been very conscientious about checking with us regularly to see if we have questions and stressing how we can come ask her anything we need, but other than yesterday we haven't had to have too much hands-on assistance so yay us! For an early rotation I feel pretty good.
And it is interesting to be the one doing the types of specimens we always had to have a pathologist or a PA do when I was a gross tech (mastectomies, larger amputations, colon resections, etc). It is a mental shift to realize that I'm allowed to do them... I'm actually encouraged to do them! It is exciting and I'm so glad to be in my second year and grossing again.