Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Haematology - whats that all about?!

I'm now 11 days into a 25 day rotation in Haematology and I am becoming steadily more bewildered by the subject on a day-to-day basis.

I started off by reading the first few chapters in a couple books I own which was a really solid grounding for getting to grips with cell lineage e.g. lymphoid and myeloid. Then I started reading up about the pathophysiology of different types of anaemia which I am hoping will prove useful in our multiple choice exams in a few weeks.

This was all going well until I decided to sdo some reading around our ward-based bread and butter - leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Oh my god! Firstly, as a bit of a learning point, everything malignant in haematology can present as anaemia, thrombocytopenia or leucopenia. Therefore, based on a history you can't diagnose people! Crap! Standard issue clinical reasoning goes out the window!

When (or maybe more appropriately, if) I find out how to solve the blood based mysteries I will share my gift with all... unless you're on my course and in direct competition with me in the exams ;)