Wednesday, January 10, 2007

High Altitudes and a UCSF Bachelor

Hiking in the Himalayas
Medical school involves a heavy use of the imagination, and it seems to bring out the thespian in everyone. We constantly role-play, pretending to be doctors, patients, and competent medical students; we read fictitious case studies and hypothesize how we would treat the patient during problem-based learning (PBL) and small group discussions; we play with dummies and pretend to give them supplemental oxygen.
This morning we had a small group case study on a fictitious German tourist in the Himalayas suffering from high altitude sickness. After the small group session, we had a lecture given by Dr. Alan Gianotti (an emergency medicine doctor from Stanford), who has extensive experience treating patients in the Himalayas for the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) at 16,000 feet above sea level. Dr. Gianotti's presentation and photos were fascinating and based on real-life experiences that totally dazzled me. It was wonderful seeing the connection between hypothetical situations and true events.
This afternoon, we enjoyed our second patient s(t)imulator session with a mannequin, which was entertaining and instructive. Since other medical students are not going to experience this case until Friday, I will refrain from saying anything more. :)
Lastly, during our patient stimulator discussion, a medical student mentioned that the next bachelor for the reality TV series "The Bachelor" may be an ER physician who attended UCSF. At first, everyone seemed to find it pretty cool...UCSF deserves more exposure to the mainstream.
But then another medical student voiced a second, more troubling thought by asking, "Wait, why is he still a bachelor?"

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