Monday, November 5, 2012

Rotated through and now back to autopsy

Friday was my last day doing surgical specimens for a while. It was a good five weeks and I feel a lot more comfortable at Duke surg path. I know that I still have a ways to go on getting my dictations where I want them to be but I did get a lot more positive feedback on them on them this go-round.

We have case assessments where the pathologist who reads out the case can comment on our dictations and sections on the cases that we select for assessment. And it can be disheartening some times when the staff PA looks over the blocks being submitted and praises the sections but the assessment comes back with the pathologist not liking them... or having one pathologist wanting larger sections and another wanting smaller ones. That is all part of the learning process. It isn't easy or fun to get feedback (unless it is 100% enthusiastic and positive, because who doesn't love that?) but it is helpful.The good thing about being able to handle constructive criticism and apply it is that it means that there should be improvement. Learning to tailor your sections to the pathologist reading them is a very important professional skill!

Still, I really enjoyed my time on surg path. I felt like things were starting to become more comfortable and familiar at Duke. And I was able to answer the questions the staff PAs put to me about the disease processes going on in the specimens I was grossing and what sections needed to be submitted, etc. It was nice to feel confident about that.

Meanwhile, as of this morning I am back on autopsy for two weeks. Oh autopsy! You never know what the work load is going to be, but I like it a lot - more than I thought I would before I started the program.  The one thing I miss equipment-wise is a scale that you can wheel the gurney on to get the patient weight. But other than that, it is great. Everyone that works there has been working there for years and teaching for ages so they're very focused on us as students. Plus, most of the organs are relatively normal (which is not something you get too often in surg path) and it helps reinforce anatomy information. During this rotation I'd like to get evisceration down, which everyone seems supportive about so hopefully we'll have some cases that are good for teaching (ie: there's not a recent thoracic or abdominal surgery in the patients that would require a more experience hand for evisceration, etc).

In completely unrelated news, the first years had their first gross anatomy practical this morning. Oh goodness, I remember being in their position last year... it hits at the end of a solid month where there was a test in a different subject every Monday. Hopefully they're all recovering from all the studying but having a relaxing night. It is one of those situations where it feels like it has been forever since we were doing that and no time at all.

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