Giving me back my Enquiring Mind

The Professor in Paediatric Pulmonoly has done wonders for my brain. He told us to question everything he tells us, and that we should only expect 30% of what we are taught to be true.

He forces us to ask WHY.

For example, WHY are we comfortable with an Oxygen Saturation of 92% as opposed to demanding a 99% saturation for all patients?

The answer is quite interesting. View the graph alongside: between 100 and 92, the graph is relatively flat, meaning that a great variety of changes will cause little to no change in saturation. However, as soon as saturation drops below 92%, the graph becomes very steep and a small external factor can cause a massive drop in saturation.

Similarly, he asked us WHY, if in Cystic Fibrosis the Sodium and Chloride Transport is impaired, does a person with CF have salty skin?

Again, it’s so obvious that I didn’t even consider the possibility. In the alveoli, chloride must be moved from the epithelial cells to the alveoli in order for water to mix with the mucous of the respiratory tract. Because this doesn’t happen, one gets the characteristic thick mucous.

In the skin, it’s just the other way around. Normal physiology states that sodium and chloride must be reabsorbed by the sweat glands in order to maintain electrolyte balance. Thus it’s just a secretion of ions in a different direction. (In layman’s terms. I don’t enjoy jargon.)

It’s really so simple, but I feel like medicine tends to take our logic from us by demanding large amounts of rote-learning. I wish I could be more regularly exposed to professors who consider learning to be fun. Don’t you miss the days when learning was an adventure?


5 thoughts on “Giving me back my Enquiring Mind

  1. Congratulations! I am nomonating your blog for the Liebster Award. Please view my blog titled “Liebster Award” from today. Again congratulations!

    Ginger Ray

  2. Unfortunately I’ve had few teachers like that in my schooling career, but the ones I have had, I liked very much and even tried to keep in touch with. Great post, informative too.

Comments make me happy. Say hi :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s