One week down, so very many more to go!
So it looks like my PBL case wasn't as straight-forward as it seemed - the presenting complaint didn't resolve into the most common differential diagnosis, but rather a <1% kind of thing. And at the end of the week we were treated to an expert forum with a specialist surgeon, to allow us to ask questions about aspects of the case we were not totally sorted with, only to have the surgeon say the diagnosis was "what you decided it was when you had ruled everything else out"!
To be honest, I'd suspected the straight-forward answer was unlikely to be it, if only because our learning around the topic is expanded 100% if we spend half the week chasing one diagnosis only to have it go lateral on us by thursday; leaving us to have to follow up on this new direction.
I've never worked this hard before, but it was fun and made the drink post-lectures on Friday night feel that bit more earned. However, on my walk home my iPhone made a brave leap for freedom and dashed itself on the pavement (this is my story and I'm sticking to it). This gave me ample opportunity to pick shards of glass out of my hand when I picked it up and admire the spiderweb pattern of cracks and fissures. Now the offending 'phone has an adhesive plastic cover on its back to cover the worst of the damage and a rubberised bumper around the edge; the net effect has converted a sleek piece of 21st century design into the cell phone Special Kid. It's not a great look, but it should avoid future damage.
I'm determined to keep as much of the weekend as I can for enjoying the company of my wife and my friends, a life away from medicine. Being suckers for a good film, we watched "The Crazies" last night and thoroughly enjoyed it - Timothy Olyphant does his best to survive escaping his midwest town after the populace go mental and start killing each other. Then this afternoon we went for dinner at Tortilla (easily the best Tex-Mex in London) and then went to see Inception at the BFI IMAX (allegedly the biggest screen in Britain, something I find easy to believe). Inception is a great, thoughtful, violent and engaging film that doesn't spoon feed you plot and expects you to keep up. The reward is another strong performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, incredible visuals (try and figure out what's CGI and what's just clever special effects) and a tight plot that keeps the pace up for the entirety of the film.
Oh, one last thing, a new resource I've just come across is http://www.keepingup.org/, a site dedicated to digesting the latest news in emergency medicine and putting out a weekly 25 minute podcast bringing you the more thought provoking stuff. This weeks was particularly relevant for me as they covered new research around the relative merits of chest compressions alone vs. standard CPR. It's free and a valuable learning resource, so it gets my vote.
Now a glass of whiskey, make my lunch for tomorrow and to bed.