Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy

6Nov/06Off

Current Treatments in Medicine: Bloodletting

I found this post languishing in my "drafts" folder, and figured it was close enough to being finished that I might as well just put it up. It's several weeks late at this point.

I've heard stories from the class above us that our pharmacology class is horribly outdated. We routinely learn drugs that are outdated and pass over ones that are currently used.

All of a sudden, I realized that they were totally right. Why? Our prof just told us that his slides are available on a "carousel" in the library. Lets ignore, for a moment, the fact that he is lecturing us off a powerpoint (I think it's possible he's not even aware of that fact)*.

As he was talking about antihypertensive drugs, he started to cut broad swaths through drugs we needed to know, and drugs we did not need to know. Unfortunately, one of my classmates mentioned that she had seen two "don't need to know" drugs on several patient's charts just the other day.

This worries me. This worries me both for the boards (on everyone's mind, by this point) and for 3rd year. Pharmacology is supposed to be a given: a patient tells me that they are on acetazolamide, and I need to know what it does. I think I'm stressing myself out. But when I think "doctor", one of the things that immediately comes to mind is "someone who can prescribe medication". How is that going to work if I don't know what the drugs do?


*It has come to my attention that he may not, in fact, have been implying that his slides were available on a carousel. However, for the purposes of good storytelling**, my incorrect assumption shall stand.

**To claim that I'm a good storyteller, of course, would be a mistake. This statement, however, shall also stand. Hey, once it's written, it becomes true, right?

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  1. What bothers me a bit is that we’re spending only one day in Head and Neck Path. It doesn’t seem like what we got today could be at all sufficient to even come close to fully understanding what can go wrong in the Head and Neck.


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