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The world of medicine seem to be extending its arms wider than before. As new diseases and new treatments arise, there are new branches of medical fields that need to focus on specific medical issues.

While the branches and specialties of medicine may overlap with each other, the driving forces of the evolution of medicine are technology and the need for a new methods to conform with the changing culture and needs of people.

basics of medicine

Entering Medical School

Anyone interested in going to medical school may wonder what it’s like. They may feel prepared for medical school and want to dedicate their life to medicine. Naturally, they wonder what to expect. As people currently in medical school and the medical profession may say, there will be challenges from the start. The first two years of medical school taking place mainly in the classroom setting are no exception.

Basic Science Courses

A medical school curriculum can vary from one institution to another, but the general format is similar. The first year consists of courses pertaining to the human body in its natural healthy state while the second year deals with the diseased human body. All serve as a basis for transitioning to the clinical environment.

Gross anatomy is the prime introduction to the human body. From textbooks as well as cadavers, students learn the layout of the body with intense detail. There are also courses in physiology to learn the functioning of tissues and organs, histology to understand tissues at the microscopic level, embryology to learn about prenatal human development, and neuroanatomy to understand the details of every part of the brain. Because knowledge of molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry is also necessary, medical school may touch on these subjects even if they were already introduced at the college level.

In the second year, students take a pathology course to understand all diseases at every angle (i.e. grossly, histologically, etc.). There is microbiology to understand the characteristics of and diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. There is pharmacology to know the mechanisms of action and effects of all known FDA-approved drugs. Immunology is taught at this time and usually alongside microbiology. Because of the vast amount of material taught, these courses generally last longer than the first-year courses, generally the entire academic year.

Other courses may be incorporated into either year, including medical ethics, epidemiology to learn statistical methods, and genetics. Medical schools may differ in the required miscellaneous courses that they offer.

Clinical Medicine

Since the purpose of medical school is to train new doctors, students would be enrolled in a clinical medicine course that generally spans the two years. This teaches one how to take a patient history and perform a physical exam. The history involves interviewing the patient and asking questions, from the details of the patient’s symptoms to past medical conditions and current medications. The physical exam allows the clinician to check out the patient from head to toe. The student learns what to see, what to feel, and the use of instruments like the stethoscope, reflex hammer, and opthalmoscope.

Once the student masters both sets of skills, they are put into practice through interaction with real patients. Concurrently, students are taught how to write the history and physical exam information into an organized report as well as subsequent progress reports detailing new findings and the daily management plan. Most importantly, students are given opportunities to make diagnoses from case studies and enhance critical thinking skills.

Physicians carry out essential services in our contemporary times. Add to that, their impact in preserving the lives of people to threatening diseases and conditions can be immeasurable. They detect disease, as well as prescribe and also administer treatment to individuals experiencing illnesses or injuries. They analyze individuals and get their medical histories, they order diagnostic examinations and they counsel individuals on hygiene, diet regimen, as well as preventative health care. Physicians can work in several specialties, such as general and family medicine, anesthesiology, pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry as well as obstetrics and gynecology. As the world is changing every minute, the role of a physician becomes apparently indispensable to society. They have huge responsibilities and knowing just the basics can be helpful but it may not be enough.

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