Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week Three

This was the shortest longest week so far.  We had Monday and Tuesday off for the Fourth of July which were very boring days with nothing to do except preparing for the next few lectures.  Once you have been a husband and father, holidays as a bachelor become extremely dull. :)  However unimpressive the beginning of the week was, the end of the week attacked with full force.  We finished the lessons for the entire first semester by Friday and have a monstrous test on Monday.

This week we learned what is known as muscle energy therapy which is a technique that uses the patient's own muscle groups to correct various somatic dysfunctions.  A simple visual example is my neck. I can only sleep on my stomach, but only on my right cheek facing left.  Needless to say, I have excellent left rotation for the cervical vertebrae, but comparatively poor rotation to the right.  If I were the patient, the doctor would rotate my head to the right to engage the barrier and while holding my head there, instruct me to try to return my head to a neutral position.  The goal isn't to win a wrestling match, only to contract those muscles against the doctors unyielding counterforce which produces isometric contraction (that is, contraction where the muscle tightens but without any distance changes between the two ends of the muscle.)  After a few seconds, the patient relaxes and the doctor will reengage the barrier which will be beyond the original. This is repeated until the doctor can sense normal rotation or motion in the joint of question.  The technique works due to the molecular nature of muscle fibers. The tightening 'uncrimps' the length between the origin and insertion of the muscle.  The difficult part is realizing which joint you are actually trying to engage especially with the rather unwieldy joints of the sacrum and pelvis.  Even more difficult is remembering how to position the patient so that the treatment is effective.

It is only the second week of medical school and already I have wanted to join my classmates and study on Sunday, but I feel it would be a bad precedent.  I have studied about as much as I could stand this week and I hope that will be enough.  I'm not sure why the planned the course this way, but we have another test next Monday as well.  I would rather have gone to school on July Fourth and fifth, be tested on Fridays, and go home a day or two earlier than have had the holidays.

Although our religion allows for some latitude on Sabbath day observance, I don't believe my ox is quite in the mire yet.

President Kimball said: “I hope students will use the Sabbath for studying only as an emergency. … I believe that generally, with careful organization of time through the week, most studying can be done on weekdays, leaving the Sabbath for worship. … There might be times when one would feel forced to study, when he might feel that it was an ox in the mire. I am expressing only my personal opinions on this matter, but since we are talking to students, it would be my hope that your studying could be done in the season thereof and not as a cramming process just before you go on Monday mornings” (Teachings, 227, 229).



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