Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pathways Galore

You may not fully understand it (like myself), but it is happening right now inside your body. The breakdown of sugar into usable energy or glycolysis is one of the many biochemical pathways our bodies use to function.


Once again, the week has been occupied with many hours of in and out of class biochemistry. Only two weeks into the semester, we have finished three quizzes and a significant portion of the textbook's material. It is comforting to know that I am not the only student in the class that has a difficult time following every lecture. My routine has become a state of confusion during lecture that is cleared when I read the book to clear up the details. It takes a lot of time, but the material is making sense that way.

It has become clear that there is a lot of memorization to be done. Once the amino acids are crammed in my head, it is time to learn the pathways: glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, and the list is going to keep growing. We usually chuckle when the professors say there is no need to memorize the pathway, but know the starting materials, products, and enzymes involved. Adding it all up, we really do need to know the pathway in detail. When was the last time your doctor broke it all down in the exam room?

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

OMM as it is called is one of those classes that is unique to schools of osteopathy. In fact it is, at this point, one of the more enjoyable courses. We will be learning how to find problematic points of the body, manipulate them, and ultimately seek healing as a result. We take turns acting as patient and provider while learning the body and manipulations. I have a feeling this will be my family's favorite part of medical school as I have to practice on someone in order to study. As we are not too far into the curriculum, it ends up being more of a massage than a corrective technique. Over time, I imagine that will change.

In order to be considered an osteopathic physician, we have to be enrolled in OMM during each semester of school. Hence, this is a long term course that will build from semester to semester as we progress in our techniques. It is unfortunate that many osteopathic physicians do not employ these skills and perhaps do so because their practice does not incorporate them explicitly. Many people are convinced after only one treatment that OMM has significant healing results. Fortunately, or else osteopathic schools would not exist.


No relief in the anatomy department. We have explored the chest, shoulders and arms in great detail. Thankfully, my undergraduate education provided a strong foundation for most of these anatomical anomalies. We have yet to be tested on anything, which will be quite an eye opener I am sure. Just when you feel secure in your understanding and memorization, you have to be humbled by the intellectual development of your professors' years of experience and training. Needless to say, our memorization skills are improving at a rapid rate...or maybe I am just being hopeful.


  1. Are you by chance LDS? I'm considering Touro Nevada next year for myself, and trying to collect as much information as possible I stumbled across your blog. Would it be okay if I contacted you sometime to ask some questions? I'm not really interested in posting my email address in a public forum, and you're probably not I'm not sure if it'll work...

  2. PJ, I would be more than happy to answer your questions. If you would like, you can post them here or send me your email address via a comment. I can then delete your comment so others don't have it. As you left no way to contact you, I left this reply in hopes that you would see it.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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