My favorite thing about being a second year medical student is that I finally get to learn about diseases! I am so glad to be done with all the physiology and biochemistry. It is so much easier for me to learn things when they actually interest me.
So far this semester, my favorite class is Infectious Diseases. We spent our first week learning all of the skin infections…I think there are around 100. It is a lot of memorization, but at least I get to look at disgusting pictures of leprosy and stuff. I can now tell you all about every kind of rash and skin lesion you could possibly get, from furuncles and carbuncles to measles and rubella! I know…I’m pretty cool.
This week we are starting respiratory infections. So far I have learned that over 90% of cases of pharyngitis and rhinosinusitis are caused by viruses! You don’t need an antibiotic, people! I found this really interesting because when I shadowed in the clinic this summer, the doctor prescribed a fair amount of antibiotics. He did take the time on several occasions to try to explain to patients that they were sick because of a virus and they didn’t need an antibiotic, but patients are so unwilling to hear this. The fascinating thing is that, not only does over-prescription of antibiotics cause resistance, but taking an antibiotic can actually cause you to get sick by destroying your normal flora. The more you know!
Anyways, I am really enjoying school so far. This week has been much better now that I’m not sick. My allergies have been bad though, so I’ve been experiencing a lot of post-nasal drainage. But…thanks to my Principles of Medicine class, I was able to diagnose myself. My current treatment of choice is over-the-counter pseudoephedrine to go along with my Allegra. Hopefully it works for me because I’m really sick of having a sore throat and a cough.
I’m still not quite back into the swing of things study-wise. I’ve been pretty lazy this week. I’ve definitely got to kick it up a notch before I start to get behind. My weekend plan is to continue memorizing skin and respiratory infections and hopefully commit them to memory so I can rock my case presentation next week!