Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Exams of any kind make me nervous, yet they're also sort of like sporting events. Me vs. the test, me vs. me, me making a last-minute three-pointer at the buzzer (is it a hyperplastic polyp or a serrated adenoma? She shoots...she scores!). In college I even had a set of little rituals that went along with test-taking--put on the lucky shirt, drink the optimum blend of caffeine (for energy and clear-headedness) and gingko biloba tea (for, you know, more clear-headedness).

This week is an exam week--ENT, general pathology and pharmacology. I feel prepared for the first two, not completely ready for the last.

Hopefully by Friday I'll have all the adrenergic and cholinergic and everything else -ergic drugs committed to memory (I'm 90% there, I think--just a little more work around the edges). This is all absolutely cool stuff to get to be learning. Hey, here's how aspirin works; hey, this is the reason selective COX-2 inhibitors like Vioxx--and Celebrex, may it rest in peace--don't eat holes in your stomach lining as readily as ibuprofen! As for learning antidotes, that was just a piece of practically shamanic coolness. Give Narcan for heroin OD. N-acetylcysteine, if given early enough, can protect the liver from acetominophen overdose. A kid ate some Jimson weed--try physostigmine. It's like a throwback to The Olden Days, when you'd give feverfew to someone with (duh) a fever, or black cohosh tea to someone with dysmenorrhea--except, y'know, now we know why things work. And we use fewer plants (although vinca alkaloids and Taxol are both plant-derived, and are used in cancer treatment). Just rambling.

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