Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Augusta Views: Medical School Bytes

As I'm currently studying for a massive test next week, I think it's a great time to share some of the more interesting tidbits that I've learned thus far.

The first one is interactive: lay your hand on a flat surface & lift your thumb upwards and away from your other fingers. Do you see the dimple that appears just above the wrist? This region is referred to as the anatomical snuffbox. Apparently, some early anatomists saw it as a convenient place to put a little whatever and snuff it out! It's important clinically, too. The radial artery lies in the floor of the snuffbox & is vulnerable to injury there.

In your kidneys, there is a structure called the proximal convoluted tubule. Actually, there are a few million of them. They're small, but very busy! Together, the proximal convoluted tubules resorb 3 pounds of salt each day! Next time you're in the grocery store, check out the salt. 3 pounds is a LOT of salt.

Anatomists love giving names to regions. A favorite of mine is the Danger Triangle of the Face. It sounds so dastardly! If you were to draw a triangle with a corner between your eyes and one at each corner of your nose, you'd have the danger triangle. It gets its name because there are veins in that area which drain into the cavernous sinus in the cranial vault and thus provide a route for infections to spread. This relationship is why you aren't supposed to pop zits inside the danger triangle. It's extremely unlikely that an infected pustule will pack enough punch to create a problem, but it's definitely possible. (My dad always told me about this, but I didn't believe him and continued to squeeze away. Now I avoid the danger triangle, just in case!)

Lastly, we recently learned that they have developed a procedure for a "no scar" appendectomy. Instead of making a small incision in the abdomen to go grab it out, surgeons can now feed all their fancy laproscopic equipment down the esophagus and into the stomach to access the infected appendix. It's really quite remarkable, but a necessary consequence is that they drag the thing out through your mouth! Protective tube or no, I think I'd rather have the inch-long scar than have to think about my appendix having ever been in my mouth! Still cool, though.

There are PLENTY more interesting facts that I've learned in the first 3 months of medical school, but most of them are either awesome in an incredibly nerdy way or not exactly G-rated! Thus, I decided not to share.

Until next week,

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