May 27 2003

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It was a lost holiday weekend as far as studying went. I did have a great time though. I cut grass, went fishing, watched Macey play four softball games, went to two cookouts, watched a thrilling Memorial Day Reds win, caught some NBA playoff games, and rocked McKenzie to sleep every night. Today though I got back after it. With only 8 days left before the Step, I need to focus hard.

To continue my recap of the M2 year let me tell you about one of my favorites, Pathology – the study of suffering. I probably learned more material in this course than in any other this year. It is kind of a sister course to Physiology. One is about how things are supposed to work and the other is the story of things gone bad. The course lasted the entire school year and used Robbin’s Pathologic Basis of Disease. Many of the lecturers compiled their own notes for us so we didn’t have to use the class note service. The syllabus was arranged by organ systems and for each unit we had lab sessions where we got to view actual tissue specimens recovered from surgery or autopsy. There was a lot of memorable material here – the tiny hearts of infants who had the Tetralogy of Fallot, colons with Crohn’s disease, emphysemic lungs which float in water, tumors of all sizes, and infarcted brains. I think the most disturbing thing I saw all year was a term fetus with anencephaly. This baby had been delivered at UMC only days earlier. In fact the grieving parents may have still been in the hospital, only yards from where 100 medical students gawked at their “monster baby” for all I know. Ladies – if you have any chance of conceiving, please take your folic acid! The faculty in this course did a fantastic job. The class average on the national board exam was well above the mean. There was also a lot if tie-in with our ICM class which focused a great deal on clinical diagnosis.

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About Marcus Lee

Child Neurologist
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