Assuming I survive my upcoming finals, in a little more than a week I will have finally survived my first year of medical school and one year of many on the way to becoming a fully fledged physician. I will post a more thought-out reflection when I have time after my exams, but briefly, thank you all for following along as I haphazardly tried to document and share a tiny fraction of what I've learned this year through sleep-deprived writing sessions.
I hope to keep writing on occasion through the summer on various health-related topics, but the next WILTIMS post will be in August as we start year two with pathology, pharmacology and microbiology. Please leave any ideas for future topics in the comments. Thanks again!
TIL: A lucid interval is a period of temporarily regained consciousness after a traumatic brain injury. Such a degeneration back into unconsciousness is highly indicative of an epidural hematoma.
Decerebrate posture is a worrying symptom where the patient will extend all their limbs and arch their back. This is related to decortication, another serious posture with the difference that the arms are flexed instead of extended. The latter often leads to the former and is thus similarly disconcerting.
With certain conditions involving a protruding eyeball (aka proptosis or exophthalmos), you can place your stethoscope directly on the eye to listen for bruits (pronounced broo-ee). These turbulent wooshing noises would in this case indicate a vascular problem involving a high pressure tear in the internal carotid artery as it passes through the cavernous sinus (called a carotid-cavernous fistula).