It’s hard to believe it is already time for another installment of the Friday Rewind! Here is the best and worst of what the week had to offer.
1. The Best of This Week
- Participating in a colonoscopy simulator research study. UCI is just one of six institutions in the nation that has this technology, which made it pretty exciting to test out. It felt just like a video game, except for the colonoscope controller, but apparently the real thing is comparable to what I was able to experience. Although I am not a big gamer– actually I am among the limited few in my generation who never played video games– I scored a respectable 100% in polyp removal!
- Learning about a whole spectrum of genetic disorders and diagnostics that were completely foreign to me until this week. I didn’t get a chance to take a genetics course as part of my post-bac program so all of the clinical correlates we’ve been learning are brand new and intensely interesting to me. It is estimated that all people carry about 20 recessive genes that cause genetic diseases or conditions. Of course, it’s only when a person has a child with a partner that carries the same recessive gene mutation, that there is a chance of having a child with a recessive disorder. This has got me thinking a lot more about potential future children and the unfortunate (silent) things my husband and I could be passing on to them. On a separate note, I think this officially signals that I am getting old, as these are the new mundane things I worry about. You know you are crossing over into true adulthood when you watch movies and start siding with the parents vs the rebellious teen lead…
- Now that I live in California I can’t get away with adding on those extra “winter” 5 lbs. It has been in the 70s (except for the much needed rain we are getting right now) and I really need to step up my healthy living routine. No more lazy microwavable meals! I am back to eating fresh, homemade dinners full of veggies and good for you things. I also stepped up my work-outs (as much as my back injury allows) by adding a nightly brisk walk with my husband. We did 3 one-hour night walks this week, which were not only good for our health but also time well spent catching up on future dreams (like the mountain home we want to one day buy…).
2. The Worst of This Week:
- I was all set to travel to Mexico tomorrow morning to help run an underserved clinic I am involved with — until I came down with a nasty case of gastroenteritis. In an unfortunate twist of irony–I think this is what you are supposed to come back from Mexico with not go there with–I am too unwell to see patients, which made me feel like a cast-off, harboring some dangerous microbes. Very disappointing since I had been looking forward to this trip for a few weeks now.
- Realizing I have 5 exams on the horizon, two of which are national shelf exams. A shelf is a cumulative exam in a particular topic (Physiology and Histology in my case) that you take together with other medical students across the country so your school can see how well you stack up against other med schools. Fun.
- 8 am classes. Yes, becoming a physician means lots of early mornings and limited sleep. But being forced to be in class due to some ill-thought out mandatory attendance rules makes me grouchy. I also felt sick for the last few days, so that combination made me particularly cranky. If I didn’t say hi to you this week in class, please excuse my rudeness!
3. Medical Breakthroughs of the Week:
- In keeping with our genetics trend for this week: Rocky Road for Mitochondrial Transfer
Altering mitochondria during in vitro fertilization (IVF) as a means of preventing disease transmission won’t be moving to human trials any time soon, according to experts at a 2-day FDA hearing.Mitochondrial transfer — which some have termed “three-person embryo transfer” — was developed to prevent transmission of mitochondrial disease from mother to baby. This type of disease is rare in the U.S., with about 1,000 to 4,000 cases per year.Although there are different approaches, the basic idea of the procedure is to use the nucleus of the mother’s egg cell to retain her genetic identity while replacing the diseased mitochondria, which surround the nucleus.Researchers have been working with the technology for decades but have often found their efforts stymied.
4. Just for Fun-The Friday Rewind Image Challenge
What’s the diagnosis?
A 23-year-old woman presented to the emergency department after 1 day of fever, sore throat, arthralgia, and rash. Diffuse erythema that blanched on pressure was noted over the face, neck, trunk, and arms, along with posterior cervical lymphadenopathy. The next day, the fever and rash subsided, but she reported pain in the oral cavity. Examination revealed petechial hemorrhages on the soft palate that disappeared spontaneously in 2 days.
a) Adenovirus infection
b) Infectious mononucleosis
e) Sarlet fever
*Courtesy of the New England Journal of Medicine. Answer in the comments sections.