Day 180: Cardio Completed.

Another theme in the books. Over halfway done with my first year of medical school! Looking back, this theme has had its ups and downs. It started with a classic front-load of embryology (not particularly my cup of team Dr. Smith, sorry). I mean, conotruncal septation and how the the Secondary Heart Field dictate this organ in our heart to form so it can pass through 5L of blood every minute until we die is amazing. There are just other fields in science and medicine that I am more attracted to. Aside from the embryology, this theme was uniquely broken up where the professors worked with the students in smaller groups.We were provided case studies in a 1:6 (prof:student) ratio. Each of us were able to talk out problems and how a Wigger’s diagram would reflect reading that are taken from a physician. “Plot me the change in LV pressure from a women who now has aortic stenosis” “Provide the differential diagnosis for a patient who has unilateral edema is one foot” They were times that allowed students to think and explore the extent of the diagrams.


The last week of the theme dragged on forever. It reminded me of my MUS Theme Exam. Everyone studies the material very hard and at some point, they peak. I believe I peaked around Wednesday of last week. 5 days before my test. Peaking happens when you generally master the material and then start to invest time into learning the smaller and less-important nuances of a theme. Take for example the end of the Wiggers diagram as LV pressure is falling. How is it that LV pressure continues to fall when the mitral valve is open? I mean…blood is rushing into LV from the LA.
Turns out that the relaxation doesn’t stop because the mitral valve is open. In fact, the opening of the mitral valve is only an artifact of the LV pressure equaling the LA pressure (even if for just a fraction of time). Anyways, you spend time diving into these understandings that may not even pertain to the theme. The curiosity comes from a thirst for understanding something completely. This thirst, while pure in nature, can complicate lessons taught in the theme because there is always some level of generalization that is done with teaching the subjects (Thankfully). So…while the Wiggers diagram understanding has beneficence, understanding the full degree of the ion channels that are open during the nodal and cardiac action potential is a completely different story.Another fact from this theme that I did not like was that our exam was on Monday. That means the next day was the start of our next theme… Renal/Resp. We did not get the weekend to relax and reset for the next theme…but when it comes down to it, its medical school. Take breaks when you can.

The day before the exam, I was in the anatomy lab understand the heart dissection. (I actually dissected it!!) In the lab, I was reverse scissoring the different arteries of the heart and was finally able to parse out the SA nodal artery. I was super excited. This is the song that I was listening to while doing this solo reverse scissoring. Enjoy!


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