Today's Truths are Tomorrow's Myths

Many teachers can turn a phrase or re-coin an old one. Dr. Robert Humphreys, however, has a particular proclivity for it. As a teacher, he is always looking for opportunities to infuse particularly delectable tidbits of knowledge and perspective into class and everyday conversation. Naturally, at least one phrase, uttered in his booming voice, sticks in my mind and pokes at my paradigm.

The most recent dispensation was casually tossed out as a retort to the constant teasing meted out by Dr. Ed Bifulco: "Today's truths are tomorrow's myths." It doesn't seem to be too earth shattering of a phrase, but it captures the crux of science and progress. We know what we know, but we're grossly unaware of what we don't know. Much of science is anecdotal or a product of correlation at best. The point I drew from that simple phrase is that it is my duty as a future doctor to remain vigilant and up-to-date with the most current science and discoveries throughout my life. To me, it was a call to research what I learn in school to augment my knowledge of the material. This is where my extracurricular reading and programmed PubMed research updates come into play.

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Normal sinus rhythm
(Image Source: University of Pennsylvania)

However, cutting edge research and theories are useless without a solid foundation. I've said it before, there's brilliance in the "basics" and the "basics" this week have consisted of preparing for the upcoming Evaluation and Management (E&M) of the Cardiovascular and Respiratory System exam on Monday, and E&M of the Genitourinary Tract and Gastrointestinal Tract on Wednesday. Did I almost forget to mention the quiz about knee biomechanics and disorders on Thursday? For a class on E&M of the Extremities, it could very easily be dry, but Dr. Kevin Curtin brings the subject to life with such aplomb that I've been looking at feet and knees in a whole different light. I know the workload seems a bit crazy, but do not fear, there is still time to have fun and enjoy summer.

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Just this weekend, a group of us found ourselves, once again, at the Mohr lake house for shenanigans in the sun. As Dr. Humphreys would say, we stimulated our nucleus accumbens via the dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmentum, which up-regulates our cortical function resulting in mood elevation. Needless to say, it's evident that weekends such as this are necessary for proper scholastic functioning. Wish me luck! I'll see you next week.