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A Busy November for MedEx

MedEx, our group-learning cohort, is nearing the end of its yearlong program matching seven students and five doctors for an in-depth look at the challenges and rewards of the medical profession. Rosanne Mistretta, Director of the Center for Experiential Learning, is accepting applications from sophomores for the next MedEx cohort. Here is her report on the group’s work in November.


Dr. Karen Feisullin teaches the AFS MedEx students at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health.

“Our first event was a medical-ethics roundtable discussion, led by Ramani Balu P’27, a neurologist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Ram outlined a case study focused on the ethics of medical decision-making. We started with a review of a few questions, “What is ethics?” and “How does ethical reasoning differ from scientific reasoning?” From there, Ram, Bethany Perry P’21 P’19 and Karen Feisullin P’28, P’24 (OB/GYN doctors in practice at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health), led us in a spirited discussion of an actual clinical case.

“The case involved a woman admitted to the intensive care unit after a sudden cardiac arrest brought on a severe asthma attack. The students discussed the complexities involved in her care, and how family members would be involved in decision-making. The students got to hear first-hand how doctors respond to real, complex cases and make difficult decisions.

“Then, on Saturday morning, we went to a “simulation lab” at the Abington hospital with Bethany and Karen. The lab enables doctors and medical students to practice their surgical skills on a large screen. The students simulated various laparoscopic surgeries, including removing an ectopic pregnancy, clamping off and removing a blood vessel and removing a gall bladder.

“Karen led the six students in how to delivery a baby and explained various issues that can arise during a delivery. They also learned how to tie a surgical knot and how to suture a wound. At the phlebotomy station, students were able to use “fake blood” to take blood from a patient. All the students were very successful at blood drawing on their very first try!”

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