As spring approaches, I like to watch for the early signs of
warmer weather. The flowers sprouting from the earth, the trees as
they begin to bud, and the sandhill cranes as they migrate back
north over our campus--the surefire sign that spring is finally
here... or nearby anyway!
Part of becoming a doctor is to learn to observe our patients
before we ever palpate, percuss or test motion. We observe the
patient's patterns of movement, any visible signs of distress. As
we begin our intake, or conversation, with the patient, we observe
how they communicate, their story. As we begin the examination, we
observe the patient's skin, hair and nails looking for any sign of
illness or injury.
This is where our dermatology class helps with our examinations.
As we progress through the program, dermatology is interspersed
throughout the curriculum, introducing us to various conditions
presented on patients' skin and other visible areas. We are
introduced to macules, papules, nodules, patches and furuncles from
the early days of our program until it finally culminates in the
dermatology course in eighth trimester.
By the time we are finished with this class, we will be able to
know the pathologies that are associated with acrochordons (skin
tags), eczemas, contact dermatitis, boils, papules, etc. Each
class, now that we are in the clinical sciences portion of our
studies, puts together all the pieces of our basic science 'data
driven' classes. We are applying the principles into larger
concepts and drawing conclusions based upon clues that we can see,
examine and test, just as any good healer would do.
Speaking of signs, the sun is coming up and I have another
presentation to do! Eighth trimester is full of presentations,
papers, cases, etc., as I have mentioned ad nauseum the past few
Here is a picture of some of the tulips on campus sprouting
through a dusting of snow we received this weekend. They present an
excellent lesson in perseverance!
Until next week, may your journey be light and you keep a happy
heart with a big smile!