Day 96: Cardiology

heart

Block 3 started a couple of weeks ago and we’ve finally started to learn about organ systems. Blocks 1 and 2 were more of our foundational sciences; learning about the cellular biology, biochemistry, immunology (and so many more -ologies) of the human body, and now we’ve made the shift over to learning about organ systems; cardiac in particular.

If there’s 2 things I’ve learned so far this block…

1. The physiology of the heart is FASCINATING. There are so many regulatory processes and intricate ways the heart can respond to different situations

2. I don’t want ANYTHING to do with cardiology

Block 3 has been relentless with information being constantly thrown at us with little time to fully understand it all (at least that’s how I feel). We took our first progress test just a week and a half into the block and second progress test today (yikes). Yes there’s a lot of info but what I’m loving about this block is that all my classes seem to build off each other.We spent time earlier in the block learning about cardiac physiology; understanding how blood fills the different chambers of the heart, understanding when and how the heart contracts to get that blood to different places in the body, what happens when our blood pressure gets too high or too low and how our body reacts to that change and brings it back to normal, etc.

With pharmacology, I’ve memorized a TON of drugs and the different effects they can have on heart conduction, heart rate, blood pressure. You name it, there’s probably a drug for it. We’ve also been introduced to reading EKGs which I’m super excited about. We’ve all watched medical dramas and heard the doc yell out “…patient’s in V-Fib, grab the paddles!”. Now that I know what’s happening to the heart during ventricular fibrillation/what v-fib looks like on an EKG, I’ll be the judge of that.

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Summary of the effects of sympathetic nervous system on the cardiovascular system

Lectures about pathologies of the heart, especially hypertension/high blood pressure/hyperlipdemia, has also been very interesting. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America which is very sad because a change in lifestyle can help reduce cardiovascular disease. A healthier diet (less sodium more potassium), more exercise, less alcohol, and quitting smoking are all steps that can be taken to lower BP, lower cholesterol (which will help the increasing obesity epidemic in America), etc.

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Heart Disease is the number 1 killer!

In anatomy lab, we’ve cracked open the rib cage and exposed our cadaver’s heart and lungs. It’s an eerie feeling holding a person’s heart and lungs in your hands; they kept the person alive at one point and now we’re staring into someone’s empty thoracic cavity (spoooooooky).

In med school, I’ve just completely loss track of time. I looked at my calendar earlier this week and realized that I only have another month until I’m done with my first semester of med school (that’s wild, almost 1/8 doctor haha). With Thanksgiving break coming up, I cannot wait to finally take a break from classes, it feels like I’ve been in classes nonstop since I’ve started (that’s because we actually haven’t gotten a break since we started in July).

7 days until Thanksgiving, 40 days until Christmas, 47 days until 2019!

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