Tomorrow’s lecture is important

I usually don’t make statements like this. I think all our lectures better be important – or we shouldn’t have them. But I feel pretty strongly about tomorrow’s lecture, which is about addiction and substance use disorder.

We’ve had some great lunch and learn talks about the opioid crisis over the past couple years. It’s so important to develop a sense of how to safely prescribe opioids – and I think the sessions I’ve sat in on have done a great job of describing the crisis and laying out appropriate guidelines for healthcare professionals.

I also think that we should talk about addiction itself – and that’s where this lecture comes in. To my knowledge, there aren’t many places in our curriculum where we address what substance use disorder is.

For example, what happens in the brain as an addiction develops? A common misperception about addiction is that the addict simply lacks willpower – but that isn’t true. The part of the brain that mediates logical thought (the prefrontal cortex) actually “goes offline” (becomes disconnected) over time as an addiction becomes entrenched – and willpower/logical thought/all the consequences in the world eventually are no match for the power of the reward circuit in the brain.

You may have experienced a mild version of this if you’ve overindulged in something sugary, then felt like crap and said “never again” (and meant it!) – only to find yourself staring at an empty pint of Ben and Jerry’s the following night as you’re studying for a stressful exam. What happened?!

Anyway…I want to be sure that we talk about addiction from the patient’s point of view so you understand a bit about what the disease is like. The person giving the lecture (Dustin Chapman) is a great speaker with years of experience as a drug and alcohol counselor – and in the video he talks about a bunch of important stuff including:

  • how the brain changes during (and after) addiction
  • the most important risk factor for developing substance use disorder
  • myths (and truths) about addiction
  • signs and symptoms of mild to severe substance use disorder
  • treatment options
  • things to consider when you’re out in practice

We won’t have test questions on this lecture because the material doesn’t really lend itself to multiple choice questions. But I’ll post a few short-answer questions for you to work through after the lecture, and you’ll get 10 points if you complete them.

We’ve had a lot of great feedback on this lecture, and a few students have even found it profoundly useful in their own lives – so I encourage you to watch this lecture video. If you have any questions about substance use disorder after watching the video, feel free to email me. Substance abuse is a topic that is of special interest and importance to me, so I’ll either be able to answer your questions or point you in the right direction!

The rest of neuropath

The lecture video I posted for Monday’s neuropath lecture didn’t go all the way to the end of the slides…it stopped on slide 73. I’m sorry! I thought I had watched the video to the end but clearly I didn’t.

Turns out that last year, Mediasite didn’t record the lecture that wrapped up the rest of the neuro slides. I threw a little fit, alone, in front of my computer. Then I went back to the 2018 Mediasite recordings and found the remaining lecture video footage for neuropath. It’s in two clips – one just covers two slides (apparently I talked a little faster in 2018, because I was able to get to slide 75 before class ended), and the other covers slides 76 – 92.

I apologize for missing this! I posted the two video clips on our Lectures page.

Slides for Endocrine Lectures

It was brought to my attention that the ppt posted for the endocrine lectures has a lot more detail than the ppt used in the lecture videos. I apologize for that! I thought I had posted the correct one – but I actually posted one from a previous year that had much more detail.

For the exam, I will ONLY be testing you on material covered in the lecture videos.

I will find the ppt that matches the video lectures and post that asap, so that you don’t have to mess with an old ppt that doesn’t match the lectures.

I apologize for the confusion! Thanks for your patience.

Please let me know if you have questions on this or anything else.

Exam 2 details

Hi everyone –

Here are some details on the second exam that you might find helpful as you study. It will consist of 33 questions, and the breakdown is as follows:

Anemia: 8
Benign Leukocytoses: 3
Acute Leukemia: 3
Chronic leukemia: 3
Lymphoma: 4
Myeloma: 2
Hemostasis: 5
Bleeding/Thrombotic Disorders: 5

I tried to assign questions proportionally to the amount of time/number of slides on each topic (which is why anemia has way more questions than myeloma, for example).

I am working on a list of learning objectives for you to use as you study – and it is taking me longer than I thought, mostly because I got swamped with other urgent stuff yesterday and Thursday 😦 I kind of overestimated my available time – and I apologize for getting this out to you later than I hoped.

But I WILL those objectives posted here tonight. Test questions will come from those objectives ONLY – so that should help you focus down on the really important stuff as you study for the test on Wednesday.

Some other stuff to note:

  1. The exam will be open all day on Wednesday, November 11 (from 12:01 am to 11:59 pm), and you’ll have 2 hours to complete it once you start.
  2. It will be proctored (last time that function didn’t work well – but I think I have that straightened out now).
  3. You’ll get your score as soon as you finish, and I’ll post the final scores on Canvas as quickly as possible.

Let me know if you have any questions! We’ll be having a review session (using Kahoot) on Monday – but I’m happy to answer questions/ meet over Zoom this weekend if that would be helpful.

Quiz 3 changed to Wednesday, 11/4

Just confirming that by an overwhelming majority vote, quiz 3 will be moved to Wednesday, 11/4. Our Lectures page has been updated to reflect this change.

Also, Coag is SO MUCH FUN, and I really wish we could be together in the classroom. I’m a total convert. I hated coag SO much in med school (as did everyone else in the class). But after teaching it, I realized that it is really not that complicated at all! In fact, it’s pretty straightforward, and there are some fun mnemonics to help you with the more dry and boring stuff.

I wrote an eBook for people who hate coag – actually, that is part of the title: Clot or Bleed: A Painless Guide for People Who Hate Coag. If you want it, let me know and I’ll send it to you for free (don’t buy it!).