Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First years and bowels

I'm so happy for the first years since today was their histology exam, which signals the end of Molecules and Cells (I can't believe it has only been a year since I was in that position!). They will have a day off before jumping into the Normal Body unit on Thursday (first day of gross anatomy is Friday! I helped outfit folks with scrubs and pointed at the bucket o' dissection tools with the admonition to only touch it with gloves). Hopefully some of them will come out for the massive PA dinner tomorrow night that one of the autopsy PAs organized at a local pizza place and socialize a bit (I do feel a bit guilty about not having had a dinner party since they started classes but the whole kids in cubscouts and soccer has eaten up a lot of my down time.).

FISH, I figured it was more appropriate than pictures of bowel
So (and I fully admit that this is a horrible segue), I was running the bowel during an autopsy which involves taking the small bowel and colon that the autopsy techs have helpfully removed and opening it up so that the entire length can be examined (for polyps, ulcerations, diverticulosis, tumors, strictures, etc any disease process that might be present there). And I realized that it was one of those activities that most people just wouldn't want to do, yet there I was not only doing it but having cheerfully volunteered for the task (after double checking to make sure the scissors in that autopsy suite were sharp, because that really makes that job easier). Not to say that it is a fun task necessarily but one of those that I had done once or twice and wanted more practice with and it isn't something that anyone is really going to fight you to do. "No, no, I want the bowel, you had it last time!" isn't a phrase you hear often, or possibly ever.

I'm glad that I had weekend call coming off of an autopsy rotation, I felt pretty confident in what I was doing. Hopefully it'll all still seem as familiar next time I'm on call since I'll be in the middle of a surg path rotation. I feel like it will. It helps so much that while we're rotating, we are doing it mostly through the same locations. It means that we're not wasting the start of every rotation figuring out where this gross room keeps its supplies, how they like to have their prostates sections, being trained on whatever form of dictation software they use, or learning what they want in their dictations (although I'm still learning that for Duke surg path! It might be a long process, but hopefully it doesn't tax the patience of the staff PAs too much.). After the summer semester we've been at all of main rotation sites so the rest of the year is less disorienting.

Well, except for me this week since I'm on imaging! I've been with the molecular pathology department this week, which means flow, immunopathology, FISH, etc. It was always something that we sent off to another lab when I was working (except for immuno stains) so I've never actually seen what happens when they run the various tests until now. There is a big difference between knowing what a test is and seeing it, very useful and I might even understand some of the slides during grand rounds a little better now.

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