Saturday, February 27, 2010

Terminal Surgeries Have Been Terminated

Last year, we received an announcement that got rid of the rumor of no more terminal surgeries. However, we were just told that our class will not be doing terminal surgeries, instead we will learn on cadavers. I don't know where anyone stands on this but here's the facts:

Terminal surgeries are the first surgeries the students get to do. Animals are anesthetized and provided proper analgesia (pain meds) during surgery but never wake up from the surgery. Cruel right? Well, the reason they aren't recovered is to prevent further pain. We are just learning so hopefully we did everything right and then we are not skilled in handling tissues without causing much trauma (read pain after surgery). Basically if the animal woke up, it would probably be in a lot of pain. In Michigan the law requires us to use animals bred for this specific purpose and it is illegal to use animals in pounds that will be euthanized anyways (no idea why).

Reason for this change: school and faculty are under a lot of pressure. Victory for animal activists everywhere!!!! Right? Hold on, last time I checked cadavers and live animals are slightly different. So people that think this is a victory, please bring your animals to me when I start doing real surgeries. Hopefully, your pet won't bleed too much because I'm not used to bleeding - those cadavers didn't bleed. Oh and operating on intestines in an actual animal instead of on a table may throw me off a bit too.

I don't know about you, but I would rather have students learn on animals without owners than those with owners that are attached to their pets.

I think it's ironic that people think this is a victory because they THINK they are relieving pain and suffering in animals when these people are just uninformed and are probably actually causing more pain in animals.

Just some thoughts.

Spring Break is Almost Here!!!

OK, the 5 exams in 2 weeks is over and I survived. GPA-speaking there was nothing to brag about so I guess there won't be any easy finals this semester. This week was extremely busy too:

Monday - Cardio exam. No pressure but if you fail this class, just add another year to your current graduation date. I thought I knew the stuff, but the questions were different and harder than I expected. I also didn't use my time wisely and ran out of time when I was taking a second look at it. Barely passed, good except for the whole goal of preserving GPA. Later in the week, the professor gave us points back which made me much happier and feel like less of a loser.

Tuesday - Suturing lab that I didn't practice for and just relied on prior experience which paid off since I didn't get yelled at (always a success). Leave school, finish packing for presentation in Colorado, get on plane, get delayed 1.5 hours in Chicago, miss last shuttle of the night to Breckenridge. Continue to Wednesday ->

Wednesday - Day of presentation: Find a place to sleep in Denver airport until the first shuttle leaves at 8 am. FYI: there's a chapel that has fairly comfy carpet on the floor and is probably the best place to sleep - I use "sleep" loosely since I may have got 2 hours that night. Take shuttle to Breckenridge, look at mountains and everyone skiing and think how fun it would be to do that, go back to hotel room and practice presentation and study for clin path exam on friday, put on suit, register for meeting, notice everyone is wearing jeans, ski pants, and not at all dressed up - not even presenters, get rid of my suit jacket. Also, let me set this up with the fact that I am the only non-doctor presenting and that there were only 40 people in the room at 4 pm when the first presentation began. My presentation was at 5:45 and I noticed the room slowly filling as time went by. It also hit me that I was just before the key speaker of the night. It was my time so I started walking to the stage. Fortunately, I was too tired to panic as I looked at a full room with people standing in the back - estimate: 200-300 people. (Oh and sidenote: I'm not a public speaker at all. The night would be considered a success if I didn't pee my pants.) I made sure to mention that I was a 2nd year vet student in my intro in hopes that I wouldn't get any hard questions at the end. I finished the presentation and now for questions:

First guy: speaking really fast, "Words, words, words, concentration of BMP, words, words, words?"
Me: Stunned, trying to figure out what he said, "I don't know."
Audience laughs
Me: Dreading stating "I don't know" for a bunch of other questions.
Second guy: "It's ok to say you don't know." Tossing me an easy question, "What's your opinion on the importance of VEGF?"
Me: "It's super important." That was a summary. It was much more scientific.
Lady: Asks about COX1. Not sure what the question really was.
Me: Talking about one word from the question and hoping it somewhat answered the question.

The rest of the night I had a lot of people congratulating me presumably because I'm a 2nd year and not so much that my presentation was any good. It was really cool and now I can put it on my CV. I must say that it's pretty cool seeing your own name on the schedule for a somewhat important meeting. Overall, I think it was a mission accomplished.

Thursday: Leave for Denver early in the morning, fly to Chicago to be delayed again, get home, finish studying for clin path.

Friday: Take exam, finish classes, go home and sleep

Now I just have to finish some homework, study for one more exam, and listen to missed lectures. One week till spring break (aka a time to relax for a couple days and catch up on studying).