Monday, August 9, 2010

First "real" day of vet school

So today, we had our first real PBL case. The way it works, is you're presented with a case, just a little information at a time, and you have to identify what issues you don't know about within the case. You then request diagnostic testing, and get back more information. Each case is spread out over a week (PBL groups Monday, Wednesday and Friday,) and then labs and clinical stuff happens during the rest of the week.

I don't know how much information I can post about the cases, since it sounds like some of them get re-used. I want people considering Western to get an insight into the PBL process, but I don't want somebody to dig up my blog in a few years and know what each case is looking for exactly, so in the interest of academic honesty, I'll keep them very vague.

Today's case involves an overweight, geriatric dog that comes in with a limp. So within this case, we have to identify what the "Learning issues" are. For example, just from what we got today, we need to learn the anatomy of the hind limb, the range of motion (what is normal, and what is abnormal,) how to do an exam of the legs, how to read a radiograph of the stifle, and then there's a nutrition componant (since the dog's obese and the owner is feeding it Ol' Roy,) and a parasitology componant (he's an outdoor dog, so information on the lifecycle of fleas, and common diseases that use fleas as a vector.) Some of this information is broken up and researched seperately within our group, but most of it we each need to find and learn on our own, whether through textbooks, journal articles, websites (no, I'm not going to wiki my way through school), or podcasts. Remember, no lectures, we are responsible for aquiring and learning the information on our own.

After our PBL session, I got my first rabies shot, then ran to the bookstore and bought some anatomy and radiology books. After the walk from the bookstore to my car carrying my laptop and three large textbooks, my arm that I got the vaccine in is really sore. Luckily, the next two shots of the series happen on a friday, so if there's any effects, I should have a weekend to sleep them off. And that pile of books? Between it and my backpack, the stack on my passeger seat coming home was heavy enough to make my car think it was a passenger.

Tomorrow we have our first anatomy lab, and Thursday I'll be in the clinic for the first time. I'm going to go see about buying some furniture we haven't gotten yet, and then I imagine the rest of my afternoon is going to keep me with my nose buried in books.

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