We have now finished Clinical Chemistry 1, and we are starting Clinical Chemistry 2. It is crazy to look back on all we have covered in the past four weeks. We had all taken chemistry classes in one form or another prior to this, but applying it in a clinical sense was new to many.
We started the course learning about a variety of instruments and tests that are commonly used in the laboratory, including spectrophotometry, immunoassays, and electrophoresis. Many students—myself included—had experience with many of these from our past classes in undergraduate programs, but now we had a chance to actually apply the knowledge to real-life medical situations. We used spectrophotometers often in class to measure the absorbance of an analyte and thus determine its concentration. We then determined whether that concentration was in a healthy range for an individual. If it was out of range, we then considered what the possible causes or interferences could be.
By the end of the course, we were all comfortable with this type of testing and more than capable of interpreting the results we received from the machines.
In my undergrad experience, I had taken analytical chemistry, where we learned the internal workings of many different analytical instruments, which I believe helped me through this course. As we were working our way through the material, I found myself time and again recalling what I had learned about how the internal workings of something, such as a mass spectrometer, worked to create the output that would be interpreted. It allowed me to spend more time learning about the clinical side, since I had an understanding of the mechanical side.
Overall, Clinical Chemistry 1 was a whirlwind of four weeks where much was learned. Now, we get to carry that knowledge into Clinical Chemistry 2.