Monday, February 11, 2013

Day one at the medical examiner's office...

I'm on an external rotation for the next two weeks at the office of the medical examiner. It will be good practice eviscerating, which I really look forward to getting. They had around 1,500 cases last year so I don't doubt that there will be a lot of opportunity for observation and hands on learning. I was told that I'd be watching for the first few days and start eviscerating on Thursday.

I had to go by Duke this morning for a class before heading over so I came in during the middle of their work day. Someone showed me the PPE and then it was sort of self guided from there. I watched as many cases as I could and as many different techs as I could for today. As Mondays tend to be their busiest day (they are closed on Sunday), there wasn't a shortage of things to see.

It is very quick, and they take a lot fewer measurements. And, the patient population is different since a lot of the Duke cases are patients who have been treated at the hospital for a while or who have a long history of disease...whereas the ME gets homicides, accidental deaths, etc. Or at least that's my opinion so far, could be wrong. We'll see. I think people imagine that a lot of pathologists assistants work in forensic pathology, but PA programs are not the route to go if that is your interest (even the FAQ for Duke's program says so). Our studies focus on pathological processes and disease, and not on forensic science.

Also, one of the pathologists at the ME's office worked at the company where I grossed before starting the PA program. He left a year or so before I did and worked at one of the hospitals while I worked at the main location (although I do remember seeing him sometimes during the monthly doctor's meetings). It is funny because as soon as I was accepted into the program* our chief medical officer said I would get to see him, and has apparently been telling him to watch out for me for the past year and a half. He took my picture today to send to her. It is so nice to be remembered.

In other news, I think tomorrow I'll hit 40,000 blog views, which is a strange thing to think about. Thanks for everyone who reads!

And in other, other news, the ankle is getting better-ish! It hurts steadily, but it isn't keeping me from sleeping anymore and most of the swelling is gone except for this weird (8 x 4 cm) area that feels like it is going to stick around for a while. The walking cast helps a lot (and is driving me crazy at the same time!) and serves as a solid justification for all of those knee high cutely patterned socks I bought ages ago.

*Almost literally. I think I got the phone call and then walked down the hall to tell my former manager (and best boss ever) that I'd been accepted and she happened to be in my manager's office at the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment