Learning Medicine

Learning Medicine
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

On to Neurology

Time flies. I've just finished my radiology rotation and starting Monday I move to neurology. I'm very excited for this upcoming rotation. I think neurology is fascinating. It's important to set personal goals for each rotation, I believe. So I want to lay them out here:

1. Learn to do a competent and thorough neurological exam
2. See first hand the most common neurological complaints, i.e. stroke, seizures, MS, headaches, pain syndrome, meningitis.
3. Reacquaint myself with the neuroanatomy that I've forgotten over the last year. This is one of the areas I didn't make an Anki deck for, so things have already slipped my mind. I'm determined to refill that knowledge bank and build a strong foundation of neuroanatomical knowledge. This is so important for localizing pathology.

This rotation is particularly important to me because it is a possible career choice. I've thought about neurology as a field I would like to go into, but I've never actually seen the day to day practice of a neurologist first hand. Hopefully, after this rotation, I can come away with a firmer impression about that. The general impression about neurology is that the field is great at diagnosing problems but when it comes to treating patients, there are limited options. This leads some to feel that doing neurology would be disheartening or depressing even because one can't do very much for patients with terrible pathologies. I imagine that true. That doesn't turn me off though. Quite the opposite. As someone who wants to be an innovator, I want to go where the unmet needs are. Rather than going into a mature field with lots of solutions - cardiology comes to mind - I'd want to go where there are currently few good solutions for debilitating diseases. That means opportunities for research and innovation, which is what gets my heart pumping. :)

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