Saturday, November 6, 2010


This semester has really flown by!  I finished my Neurology rotation 2 weeks ago and actually really enjoyed it.  Learning neuro during the first 2 years of medical school was never my favorite, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was pretty interesting.  The brain is such a fascinating thing, and the signs and symptoms you see when certain parts of the brain aren't working are so specific to that part of the brain's function.  Some disorders produce involuntary movements, while others cause paralysis.  Some change a person's ability to speak, while others affect language perception.  Some have impacts on a person's memory, cognition, or personality.  Certain strokes can cause a person to completely ignore one side of their body (usually the left), and they won't even recognize their own arm if you show it to them.  So from an academic perspective, it was really interesting to talk about a patient's symptoms and where they localized in the nervous system, but there was not always very much you could do for a patient.  We did a lot of diagnosing and symptom management, but there wasn't always plans for a cure.

I'm really glad I had the opportunity to experience neurology and I learned a lot, but I don't think I'd want to do it forever.  I definitely learned how to do a better neurological exam though, which will be really useful.  A neurological exam includes assessing mental status, strength, reflexes, sensation, coordination, and gait, which is useful in any area of medicine.  Neuro isn't just about the brain, it involves the spinal cord, nerves, and muscles, so there are a lot of problems people have that would require a good neuro exam.  I had a patient during my family medicine rotation who complained of numbness in her leg, and I really didn't know what to ask about or what to look for in my exam, but now I have a much better idea of what to do in that situation.

I started Pediatrics 2 weeks ago (yay!) and I'm loving it!  I did my first week in a private practice setting which was a good learning experience.  It was a big group of pediatricians, so I saw a lot of different styles and it was a great way to start this rotation.  One of the MD's I followed was Dr. Sue Hubbard and she has a great website with all things pediatric.  Last week, I spent time in the newborn nursery at Parkland and it was so much fun.  We saw so many babies and I loved it!  I'm excited for the rest of the rotation!