Monday, March 7, 2011

Catch-Up (Part 1 of 2)

Thought I would do a quick little catch-up for everyone on what we're learning these days in a 2-day post.

So as you all (maybe) know, the block of classes we're in right now is Physiology with Physical Exam.

Physiology is the "biological study of the functions of the living organisms and their parts." Basically, the study of how we work. Physiology may refer to all living organisms, but we're pretty much focusing on human beings (pretty much = 100%). The class is split into three sections with an exam after each. The first section was cell physiology and the respiratory system. Our second section, which we are in right now, is the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. And last will be renal and endocrinology.

The class is mostly lectures with a couple labs thrown in there and one TBL each week. As you all probably remember from Anatomy, TBL stands for Team-Based Learning, and you take an individual quiz on a set of information, and then take that same quiz again with your team.

Because physiology involves actual problem-solving, having TBLs makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE than they did in Anatomy, because we actually reason through the problems together which is very helpful for learning, as opposed to Anatomy, where all the information was just regurgitated from the textbook.

And the labs were actually pretty fun (don't judge - some people have different definitions of fun, ok?). The first was during the respiratory unit, and we did Pulmonary Function Tests on each other (where you breathe into a tube, and a machine measures how much air you can get into your lungs, how fast you can expire, stuff like that). The second lab was in the cardiovascular unit, and we all got to do an EKG. Here's mine:

Normal! Yay! I really like this block because in physical exam or physio labs, I feel like I'm just playing doctor the whole time, and in physiology, I feel like I'm finally starting to actually understand things about the way our bodies work. A scary thought though - we learn the entire heart in 2 weeks, and now I guess it's assumed that we know everything about the healthy heart. And I'm not quite sure that's true.

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