The 'ticker patrol' moves swiftly through the halls as a sea of white following our attending from patient to patient. It's obvious the cardiologist is concerned about his heart; early morning runs, always using the stairs, and driven to maintain a healthy diet. He sees first hand how people destroy one of the most important organs in their body simply by how they live. His brisk demeanor, lively teaching style and caring bedside manner have taught me more about being a good physician in a week than some preceptors do in a month or more. He loves what he is doing and it shows in every aspect of his practice. How appropriate for one who cares for the heart.
We feel for pulses, look for venous distention and listen for the "Lub Dub" as reassuring signs or good cardiac function. I continue to be amazed by the amount of information one can pick up from some tests, especially the electrocardiogram (ECG). This electrical picture of the heart tells a story of where a heart has been, what it is doing and what may happen if treatment is not given. Yet the ECG is only one piece of the puzzle that can be complimented by other studies and tests, all in an effort to preserve the life giving organ.
I remember the first time I performed CPR on a patient like it was yesterday. It was a child not more than 5 years old. The room was filled with so many health care providers that there was barely room to move. I was the last to attempt resuscitation efforts. Not long after I started, the parents entered the trauma suite to be with their child for the last time while the heart was pumping blood to the tissues. In between compressions I distinctly remember looking around and noticing that there was not a dry eye present. It then hit me that my compressions were no longer for the child, but for the parents who longed to have their child once more. It is no surprise that we use the heart as a symbol of love, for it carries that emotion throughout humanity.
Question of the Week
With the new year it is time to say goodbye to a rather useful resource, wikitestprep is no longer in operation. The question then is this:
What other free resources are available to students wanting to prepare for the medical licensing board exams?Please leave your answers in the comment section.