Day 46 - Block 2 CBL (09/11/2017)

It's Thursday, and that means a new CBL case, and a brand new facilitator to boot. We tried to be quite methodical this time and improve upon our approach from previous sessions. We were all about trying to guess the learning objectives and bring in the relevant information from each lecture based on the symptoms present - "what's causing X, is Y supposed to be that colour?".

This time the patient had arrived in the emergency department, having been sent by his employer. He had experienced breathlessness, congestion, 'woolly-headedness' and a headache - things we decided were probably the result of sinusitis. Thankfully the excellent diagrams from my student seminar last night turned out to be exactly what we needed to work out a lot of the answers.

We also learned a fantastically dirty mnemonic for remembering the names of each of the cranial nerves, which I'm sure any medical student reading this (for whatever reason) will already be intimately familiar with. The lecturers here all joke about not being able to tell us their favourites as it would probably break some sort of code of practice, but they do work exquisitely well.

In the afternoon we received an introduction to how lung performance and function is measured clinically, as well as a briefing for the optional lab sessions where we can see this being done. I very much want to go, but my efforts to sign up during the break between the lectures were foiled by the length of the line snaking down the corridor. Monday it is.

Innate and adaptive immunity in the afternoon - powered by caffeine I made it through and made copious notes. A lot of rote learning to be done here, lots of fact lists and diagrams. I remember scraping a first in immunology during my second year at Newcastle (dead on 70), which was arduous. I'm still not sure I properly understand what a cytokine is. That's task number one for tomorrow morning.