Saturday, 7 July 2007

Life-long learning

Days to unemployment=25

It’s the first day for ages that the sun has shown its face, but rather than having a picnic in the park or sipping cocktails watching Wimbledon, I’m on call for Medical Admissions.

I don’t feel too disheartened about having work whilst others play though because I haven’t worked a weekend for a few weeks and today was a good day. I felt I really helped several people, actually saved a life and learned loads.

Due to the ever-changing nature of modern medicine, we doctors have to be committed to what the GMC terms “life-long learning.” One of the great things about my job I that patients and events can always surprise you and just doing the job means that you’re constantly learning stuff. Sometimes the surprises are good, sometimes hey are bad, but it’s impossible to know EVERYTHING and this I reckon this keeps the job interesting.

Obviously, the people we learn from most are our patients. We learn how the same disease manifests itself in different ways in different people (I had a man who came in with right shoulder pain and it turned out he’d had a heart attack), and how different people respond differently to the same treatment.

Here are five things that I learned from my patients today

1. The “D” in “D-Day” (6th June 1944) stands for “Deliverance.”

2. It is possible to have a heart rate of 18 beats a minute and still hold a conversation.

3. Rugby is a sport for “pansies”

4. Sometimes, the drugs don’t work

5. Severe hyperkalaemia can cause muscle weakness and spasms

6 comments:

Ally said...

I beg 'his'/'her' pardon. Rugby isn't a sport for pansies hmph. I've been getting myself bruised and cut for the past year now. Hahaha rugby, now that's sport

Ally said...

Forgot to say hello. Errr... how can elevated potassium levels cause muscle spasms? I thought the Calcium was involved in troponin/tropomyosin/ATP system? Or maybe the potassium levels in the actual motor nerve impulse?? O.o I need to study again.....

The Junior Doctor said...

Hi Ally,
To be honest with you, I was a bit dubious about the rugby/pansy thing, especially when you see stuff like this. To be honest, I don't know the mechanism by which severe hyperkalaemia causes spasms, I presume it's something to with the action potentials on the motor nerve but I don't know. The man had a potassium level of 8.1 with a normal calicium and was having severe cramps and spasms - I'd never seen anything like it before.

Anonymous said...

D-Day was in 1944.

The Junior Doctor said...

You're absolutely right Anon,
I've corrected the post. Looks like I should have paid more attention in History lessons!

gmc insider said...

dr john crippen (nhs blog doctor) is a gmc (general medical council) spy who freely shares information about medical bloggers with the gmc , so please be very wary of him.