See one, do one, teach one

(I'm writing thi at 4 am after waking up from a nightmare where I couldn't find my car in a parking structure; the humanity!  I'm guessing it won't seem nearly as deep or witty upon review tomorrow.)


In med school we learned most procedures by seeing one performed.  Then we did one under the guidance of an attending physician, and then, as an intern, resident, fellow or physician, we taught it to the next person, hopefully with a more experienced person on the sidelines, but sometimes not.  (Obviously with the rarer procedures getting a chance to do or teach one was rarer as well.) The benefit here is that you pay a LOT more attention when learning and doing, because you know it will be just plain you at some point.  To be fair, in medical training the goal is to see a lot & do a lot before ever having to teach, but sometimes... youdowhatyougottado.

I find I never, ever learn anything as well as when I have to teach it to another person.

Some random things I have seen, done and subsequently taught, in no particular order:

Tie a shoelace. Open and close a surgical case.  Place a suture. Repair a retinal detachment. Paint walls and trim (latex paint). Laser the retina, the iris or an opacified posterior lens capsule. Play a simple tune on piano. Ovariectomize a prairie vole.  Insert a foley catheter. Sew on a button. Take blood pressure. Refract (Better 1 or 2?  3 or 4?) Take/write a history and physical.  Pronounce a person dead. Give a (good) lecture.  Be compassionate to a crying patient (tissue box maneuver).  Drive a car. Cataract surgery. Use a condom (taught to classrooms of avid high schoolers). Glaze a ceramic piece. Use a microscope. Put in an eye drop. Stoichiometry.  Perform surgery on a patient with no anesthetic (I can explain).  Parallel park. Remove a retinal membrane.  Write an exam.  Fit a contact lens. Draw blood.  Use the F-stop on a camera.  Put on a musical! Play guitar. Perform ultrasound on an eye/orbit. And this week: Paint a RPG miniature.  

Things I've seen and done, but didn't/haven't had the chance to teach (yet), and therefore my proficiency is (even more) suspect:

Frame, drywall & patch an interior house wall.  Do a spinal tap. Plant annuals in the yard. Have a baby.  Deliver other people's babies. Make a stoneware teapot. Mix down musical tracks. Perform CPR chest compressions on a human. Give patients bad news.  Plastic surgery. Ride a horse. Swim (poorly). Perform musical burlesque numbers onstage at both scifi and preeminent medical conventions (I have a lot of tips on this).  Make faux stained window inserts. Sew a costume.  Perform enucleations (surgically remove eyeballs).  

...I should do some YouTube videos on some of these so I can cement my understanding. I'm going to do that. 

Today's Medical Word: ovariectomize
  Pronounced: (oh-verr-eck-toe-my-zz).
   Definition: To remove the ovaries
Today'Exercise: Use the phrase "For Pete's Sake" in a sentence. Also ovariectomize.
Example: For Pete's Sake, I already ovariectomized that prairie vole!*