Journey to DMS

Journey to DMS | Chapter 8

Almost done with the 5th module of LMU’s Doctor of Medical Science program. We completed 3 modules the first semester: cardiology, nephrology, and heme/onc. The second semester started with endocrinology and we’re now finishing up infectious disease. 

I really enjoyed the endo module, the physician was an excellent discussion leader. I took more notes during her lectures than any of the previous modules. It probably helped that I see a lot of diabetes and thyroid dysfunction in my primary care practice. 

I am impressed, however, with the infectious disease doc running this module. She is the first physician to have her own slides to review during our weekly case discussions. The previous docs would comment on the cases we presented (5 each week) and then share from their own practice and experience. But I appreciate that the ID doc goes above and beyond. 

I’ve enjoyed some weeks of this module more than others. As a primary care PA, I get a little glassy-eyed when reading about in-patient scenarios that I will never have to manage but I do still enjoy the reading. 

An Average Week in Infectious Disease

This is what the ID module has been like in the DMS program:

Week 1: FUO, CNS Infections, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis

Week 2: Endocarditis, Osteomyelitis, Septic Arthritis, Prosthetic Joint Infections

Week 3: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), Common Outpatient Infections

Week 4: Infectious Gastrointestinal Syndromes, Travel-Associated Infections, Tick-Borne Diseases

Week 5: HIV / Other Viral Infections, Immunocompromised, Healthcare-Associated Infections, Influenza, Fungal Infections

Here’s a peek at what other readings we have this week:

LMU DMS Infectious Disease

As you can see, all of our readings come from IDSA or other professional journals, UpToDate, or the CDC. I really appreciate the ability to incorporate these evolving real-world resources rather than purchasing a pile of overpriced, soon-to-be-outdated textbooks. 

Team-based Care

I presented on septic arthritis a few weeks ago (each student presents their collaborative case once during the 5-week module)–another example of something I’m glad to know more about but that can’t be properly managed in primary care. It led to a good conversation with the physician I work with. He’s good to ask me about our weekly discussions. 

In a subsequent week, I told him about a particular case we had discussed involving complicated bacterial sinusitis. This young patient, from the ID physician’s own experience, developed a fatal cavernous sinus thrombosis.

He later told me about a patient he would see with a similar presentation. He choose to order a venogram to rule out a similar complication. Thankfully, it turned out to be negative but I appreciated him saying that he probably wouldn’t have had a septic thrombosis on his differential if it were not for our conversation. 

On-Campus Residency

We also recently received the itinerary for our on-campus training. The week will include hands-on ultrasound (POCUS) training and lectures from faculty and area physicians. Topics include opioid use disorders, risk management, EKG, and topics in emergency medicine. We start at 8 am and the first day runs until 8 pm, while most others conclude at 6:30 pm. 

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