Only myself and Emily went into the medical school first thing this morning, as of the four of us only my case-based learning session was in the first slot of the day and she had an appointment to keep elsewhere on campus.
This was our first proper case study of the term (after the introductory one last week) and involved a patient presenting with heartburn symptoms. Having chaired the session last week, I sat back much more this time and watched the approach as it unfolded, which worked very well - once again we worked through unfamiliar terminology as a group and established some primary diagnoses. This was a fantastic example of the medical school's planning in the teaching, as we were able to use the knowledge from our lectures (anatomy of the stomach and GI tract, as well as the nerves that supply the relevant dermatomes for considering pain referral) in the clinical context. After listing these potentialities (Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease / GORD, stomach cancer, Barrett's oesophagus etc), we then set about determining differential markers for the diagnoses and considered treatment options, including the tests we would want to refer for.
Once again I find that I'm loving the CBL-based teaching, and almost want to write back to the department where I did my last degree to beg them to integrate it into their undergraduate curriculum. The self-directed learning is so much more engaging, although I suppose there is the caveat that everyone present needs to be putting in effort - this hasn't been a problem so far in the graduate entry medicine programme, but people are older and hard to get through a very competitive entry process so it could be reasonably expected that people will do so.
The rest of the lectures today were on further physiology of the digestive tract, including the mechanisms behind gastric motility which I found very interesting indeed. I must sort my sleep pattern out though - by the end of the day I could feel myself nodding off, despite getting plenty of rest last night. This does seem to be a very common complaint however, so perhaps it is just the transition to a very intense course.
We also had two study periods (self-directed learning) today which I spent doing the pre-reading for tomorrow's anatomy labs and clinical skills sessions. In particular we have very many questions to answer about the anatomy of the abdomen that we've already learned - any we can't work out for ourselves can be asked about in the labs. However, given the exciting opportunity to have hands-on anatomy workshops, I'd much rather spend the time prepping in advance than waste an hour with all the rare and expensive specimens not having a clue what was going on.
In the evening we all ventured to the highly-esteemed traditional MedSoc 'Doctors and Nurses' night at Kasbah, a nightclub in Coventry. The general gist is that the girls dress as doctors, and the guys as nurses (the sexier the better). After briefly stopping at a pre-drinks gathering of second and third years (partially because we're just that cool, but also because one of my housemates knew one of the residents), we arrived at Kasbah with the party in full force. I ended up drinking rather too much, but it was a fantastic night and the effort in some of the the costumes was spectacular to say the least. Medics truly party hard.