A recap of the last 6 months..
Happy July, which means we are officially halfway into our didactic year. I cannot believe how fast the last 6 months have gone by. What a journey this has been! It seems like just yesterday we were meeting our cohort for the first time eating king cake and taking in the sites of New Orleans. It is so crazy to think that in 6 months we will all be in different cities starting our clinical rotations. Although COVID cancelled Mardi Gras, many of the houses/yards around the city were decorated to celebrate in a non-traditional way, called it “Yardi Gras”. (I attached a picture of one of the houses decorated near campus!) This was my first taste of what living in New Orleans would be like and it really showed me what an incredibly special place full of passion and excitement this city is.
In our first semester we took 5 classes which were histology, physiology, embryology, anatomy, and surgical pathology techniques. Physiology was the most intimidating class, but Dr. Cronin made the dense material very manageable and there was never a dull moment during his lectures. Dr. Han has such a passion for embryology that really captivated all of us. I think if you asked any of the 12 of us which one was our favorite class (without “all of them” as an option) the answer would be anatomy or surgical pathology techniques. For a lot of us, our first time doing a cadaver dissection was in anatomy lab. The human body is so amazing and being able to learn hands on about every aspect of it from the brachial plexus to organ systems was one of the best educational experiences I’ve had.
gross anatomy labo
When our first semester wrapped up, we dove right into what I affectionally referred to as “Autopsy Bootcamp”. Our autopsy course was a 2 week Maymester packed with so much information, it seems insane to think about how much we learned in those 2 weeks. Two weeks is not a very long time, but we were able to pack in so many different learning opportunities in addition to traditional lectures. We got to do a brain evisceration lab which also included removing the eyeballs (one anteriorly and one posteriorly of course) and removing the spinal cord also using the anterior and posterior approaches. We also were able to do a brain cutting lab with Dr. Trivedi (shown on the left).
Our summer semester started in June and consists of Mechanisms of Disease, Advanced Surgical Pathology techniques, a Pathologists’ Assistant seminar, and 2 practicums, one in autopsy and one in surgical pathology. In our mechanisms of disease course, we started with general pathology which has included guest lectures about immunology from Dr. Craig and infectious diseases from Dr. Honer zu Bentrup. I don’t know how we are so lucky, but our guest lecturers have been the best. Seeing how passionate all of our guest lecturers are about their fields and pathology makes me so excited for what the future holds.
I’m looking forward to starting our practicums and being able to apply all of the knowledge we have learned so far in a clinical setting. It won’t be long before we find out what site we will be doing our clinicals at in January.
Our cohort on PA Day, April 14th