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 weeks. 

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!