Friday, April 21, 2006

Public Speaker

In Pathology we have Clinicopathologic Cases. They're cousin to the SOAP notes of Physio were a patient on paper presents with problems that neatly fit into that weeks' lessons. In contrast to the SOAP note, the CPC is mildly terrifying. Our case this week is a 20 year old male that hit a pothole while drunk on his motorcycle and stopped at a tree, suffering serious trauma, a compound fracture with significant hemorrhage, and possible spinal injury. You're working diagnosis at this point is "idiot".

EMS arrives within the platinum ten minutes to deliver care. They get him to a hospital, work on his leg and get all of his vitals straight back to normal. He dies anyway from respiratory failure. Working diagnosis should now be "tree allergy."

Everyone in my class of 350+ has this case, and while all of us think we know why he died, none of us wants to prove it. No matter, because our professor reaches into a bag with 350+ names and pulls one unlucky bastard to the front: not me. You can smell the collective exhale of that many students while they cheer the lottery winner to the front. He rereads the packet to kill time, asnwers what he can while getting a few things wrong, and is appropriately nervous. People like him and empathize, so he gets to avoid the tough questions.

Afterward I run into a few AAA-types saying how they wish they'd been called and were thinking about volunteering for the next CPC. I hope they let you; it'll be a blood-bath.

This is what I think about when I think of doing clinicals in a year. Lay low, have the right answer if they ask you, but don't be a dick about it.


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