Renal struggles

It was a lovely break, but I am a bit relieved that this week teaching finally resumed at the MSc Internal Medicine, University of Edinburgh. And what better topic to begin with than my sworn enemy – nephrology. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like it – well to tell the absolute truth I don’t, but it’s not what you think.
Renal medicine has a notorious reputation for being difficult and complex – even in medical school I dreaded everything from renal physiology to clinical nephrology lectures. The field is riddled with overlapping diagnoses, vague symptoms that can point to anything or nothing, and complex treatment regimens. I like to think that in all other branches of medicine, I can think of a single most likely diagnosis given only the patients signs and symptoms (in most cases). In renal medicine, however, I find myself stumped without an array of complicated investigations (which sometimes – who am i kidding – most of the time, leave me even more confused). Everything affects the kidney and the kidney affects everything – nightmare.
Sometimes I ponder upon whether I dislike nephrology or it dislikes me. I find it interesting that people often say that they fancy nephrology for these very same reasons. But I don’t get it – not at all. That being said, the past week went a lot smoother than I expected – we dealt with some of the more common aspects of renal medicine through a tutorial and a series of lectures. I’m proud to say this week left me feeling a little less resentful towards the kidney and its intricacies. Next week is cardiology by the way (yay!).

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