Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Wide World of NYPH and Weill

This past week was interesting, and I got somewhat started on my summer project. I also spent time learning things that pertain to my work back in Ithaca for my dissertation. It is convinient when your physician mentor and doctoral advisor collaborate together. It makes the time here far more meaningful.

I spent some of my time this past week in the pulmonary function testing lab on the fifth floor. It worked out that I got to see function tests on the two different types disease (obstructive and restrictive) and how you can determine the presence of one or the another (or both) from just a couple of measures. The way the pulmonary function test work is basically the person blows into a machine a bunch of different ways (like if your running, calm, hard as you can, etc...). The machine then can calculates:
  • How much total air you have in your lungs.
  • Whats the least amount you can have in your lungs
  • How much air you can blow out in 1 second
  • How much gas exchange your lungs can achieve
and so forth. And just by looking at the ratios between patients performance versus an age-sex-race adjusted basline score for that measure, you can determine a person lung health (anything >80% is normal).

I also had a discussion with a physicist with regards to my summer project (the design aspect at least). He made the interesting (and valid point) that best thing to do sometimes when you want a variation of XYZ product for some reason is just get a manufacturer who makes XYZ anyways do the modification for you. The most important thing I learned though from my discussion with him, though, is that a lot of the time, drawing a picture is the fastest way to get your point across. It makes things understandable to everyone much faster it seems.

Today I start in the ICU, should be interesting. I'll get to see now how the images I analyze are acquired, as well as all the things that appear in the image (i.e. the catheters and such that get put in the patients). I'll let you know how it goes next week.

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