Sunday, February 13, 2011

Making Use of the Library

I had no idea I would find myself in a library so soon. It feels as though I just finished preparing for board exams and now it's time to start all over again. After being in clinic so much, it was rather refreshing to visit the book vault again.

House of Books

Despite the clinic hours in third year, I still manage to find time to study at home. The library tends to change things up a little and re-engages the wayward dedication to endlessly cramming information into my head. Well, if for nothing else, at least it is a change in scenery. It was nice to see the tome-filled shelves in every direction. At Touro University Nevada, the majority of library resources are online and there is one shelving unit housing medical journals and old editions of various medical texts.

In this digital age, there is little need for printed editions of books. Almost everything can be found online, on compact disc, or on digital readers. It makes me wonder how medical school was years ago when the books in the library were the only source available. There were likely less distractions as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were not yet evolved. If your library only had one book on the subject being researched, that was all you had to learn, instead of the plethora of Google results we have today that create an endless stream of knowledge.

The benefit of a digitized world is that the information is at our fingertips, whenever we need it and it doesn't require a body builder's physique to carry it around. We can get the information fast and from numerous sources. But those poor books at the library will just sit and go untouched for years because the sound of paper turning has been replaced by mouse clicking and key tapping. Being at the library was simulated going to a museum and experiencing first hand what black print on white smells and feels like. Perhaps one day I will be able to put screen culture aside and actual enjoy simpler things. With board exams approaching, I don't think that will be any time soon.

Question of the Week
A 24 year old male presents at the emergency department complaining of groin pain. On exam you find no testicular/scrotal swelling or discoloration, positive cremasteric reflex, and positive Prehn sign. What is the most likely diagnosis?

A. Torsion of the Appendix Testis
B. Spermatocele
C. Epididymitis
D. Testicular torsion
E. Testicular Cancer

Answer & Explanation


  1. This reminds me of Carly Fiorina's speech that I saw in C Span. I was inspired when I saw her. Female, leader, CEO of Hewlett Packard, photogenic. She has a popular comment in her speeches "digital, mobile, virtual, and personal,". More about it in the book The World is Flat --

  2. That is what we are seeing in high tech tools that become popular like the iPad.
    True, most libraries are now virtual as in Touro University. Yes, I do miss the times when I was young when I would go to the library with my card to borrow books and have to even wait for some to be returned so I get my turn to read them. And yes in college, we did have our sacred books like Barbara Bates' Bates' "A Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking." Good reference book, by the way.
    The music industry has been transformed with the world going digital and with music sharing by downloading. This will certainly translate to the publishing business. It can be argued that trees are saved--paper and yes, shelves and libary furniture and yes, land space is saved too. Oh well, we do use up energy to be online. Still some carbon footprint there.


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