Human Anatomy at Colby

Entries Tagged as 'Maine General'

Breanna Davis: My January Experience

February 14th, 2014 · Comments Off on Breanna Davis: My January Experience

Breanna Davis: 2/14/14


This Jan Plan, 2014, I was given the opportunity to take an Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology class with Dr. Thom Klepach. I have always loved Anatomy and Physiology and I hope to be a medical doctor some day, so it seemed necessary to take a class about the human body in College. Going in to the class, I had expected that I would be in class for around 3 hours, 4 days a week. I also expected that I would do really well on the quizzes and tests because I did very well in Anatomy and Physiology in High School. However, I did not expect what actually happened, which was to be pushed to my limits, learn about myself when under stress, and learn how to present a case-study.

I am a student-athlete at Colby and a student-worker. This allows for less time in my day that can be spent freely as I choose. I am a sophomore, so I have learned how to keep a healthy lifestyle and balance all my commitments in the past year. However, this January was something I haven’t quite experienced yet. In the Anatomy and Physiology class at Colby, I learned so much more than the names of the body and how the systems of the body work. I learned how to communicate with my boss, my coach, and my teacher in ways I haven’t yet done.

Our hockey schedule switches away games to home games each year. Last year, we had only one weekend away during Jan Plan, Connecticut College. This year, of the four JanPlan weekends, we had three away games, Trinity, Amherst, and Williams. We didn’t get back before 12 on any of those Saturdays because it was snowing every night when we came back. The one weekend home was our Alumni Weekend, which ended up being just as time consuming as an away trip. Some people would say, “Why put yourself through that?” My answer would be because we love our team and the sport. We aren’t quite ready to give up competing at a high level.

Having multiple commitments makes it hard to prevent them from ever overlapping. If you miss practice, you won’t get as much playing time. If you miss school, your grade will go down. If you miss work, you don’t make money. I managed to only miss work 3 times and practice once because of class. I realized that being a student-athlete may make things more complicated and may take away from the classroom, but I realized in this class that learning how to balance many commitments and keep my stress levels down will be a very important skill in Medical School.

Because I found a balance, I was able to go on the trip to Boston to see the Body World Museum, take a tour of MaineGeneral by 3rd year Medical Students, and present a case on Strokes in young adults to Doctors. With just those field trips, I would have felt like my Month of January was a success. For me, those trips helped me learn more about Medical School, anatomy, and presenting to a crowd than sitting in a lecture could. The lecture is necessary to get knowledge, but I believe the real learning is done by trying, practicing, touching, and taking what is learned in lecture to real life situations. The reason why I would recommend this class to anyone, even though it did put me in over my head, is because of the field trips and projects we did. This class did a great job teaching beyond the classroom.

IMG_2876 IMG_2892

My coach came to our group’s presentation and learned about Ischemic Strokes in Young Adults. The other day when she sent me an article about a professional hockey player, age 28, that had a recent stroke, I realized that my grand rounds talk had made a difference. Our group’s main focus was to raise awareness of strokes in young adults because they have increased in recent years. In the article, the hockey player happened to say almost the exact same thing. He listed symptoms, as we did, and said to get checked immediately instead of trying to stick it out. I felt accomplished that I made my coach aware enough to notice the news. It was fascinating to see that something I had created in “class” could be so important and relevant to today.

As a whole, the class affected me in a positive way and taught me important knowledge, taught me useful life skills, and it allowed me to create connections with people I may work with in the future.


Tags: Body Worlds Vital · Grand Rounds · Maine General

Peter Wirth: MaineGeneral Augusta

February 14th, 2014 · Comments Off on Peter Wirth: MaineGeneral Augusta

Peter Wirth


Our class had the opportunity to visit the new Augusta campus of Maine General. Medical students first gave us tours of the new hospital. Many of the students were from the University of New England, while some were from other schools on rotation at MaineGeneral. Three students, none of which were from UNE, showed Emma and me around. Each student brought a unique perspective to medical school; one student went to Dartmouth, one was at the University of Oklahoma, and one was Canadian at medical school in the Caribbean. They were all very helpful and honest in giving Emma and me answers about the process of applying and attending medical school.

Both Emma and I are pre-med, so we found their advice to be especially helpful. Since they each had taken a very different route to end up in medical school, their advice underscored the importance of studying what we enjoy during undergraduate years. In addition they told us that at many of their interviews it was not MCAT scores that were discussed; rather, they were asked about their hobbies, their aspirations, and their reasons for becoming a doctor. These students greatly reduced my anxiety and showed me how they all made it work.


While talking to these students, we were showed around the hospital. We were able to see several wards, as well as the ER, library, and several rooms for residents and students. The hospital is beautiful, new, and state-of-the-art. The hospital rooms were large, comfortable, and inviting. Each room had its own bathroom attached. Some parts of the hospital reminded me more of a hotel than a medical facility.


Following the tour we began listening to presentations from fellow Colby students, as well as Kent’s Hill high school students. Each topic was very unique and all the students did an incredible job presenting. Some groups presented an interesting case study from the New England Journal of Medicine, while others presented a disease or disorder. Our group presented on a case of a college student who developed a brain infection following a diagnosis of mononucleosis. The audience of students and doctors was kind in their assessment of our presentations and complemented our ability to make sense of a very complex case.


This trip was helpful for me because it gave us the opportunity to interact with medical professionals (and those in training) in a relaxed environment. All of my questions were well answered and clarified many aspects of the medical school application process. In addition, being able to see these students interact with doctors and other hospital staff was insightful as to how the students were integrated into the healthcare profession.

Overall, this trip reminded me why I was pre-med; it is all too easy for me to get caught up in GPA, lab reports, and exams and forget the main reason why I’m doing it in the first place. Seeing patients and being able to provide a benefit to them and their families is an incredible opportunity that people in the medical profession get to do. Visiting MaineGeneral definitely reminded me why I am pursuing this career path and allowed me to meet students who are like-minded individuals on their way to becoming doctors.


Tags: Grand Rounds · Maine General

The MaineGeneral Medical Center Experience

February 14th, 2014 · Comments Off on The MaineGeneral Medical Center Experience

Amanda Millatt


            On January 21st, 2013 at 5 pm my anatomy and physiology class embarked on a journey to the Alfond Center for Health. This newly constructed hospital located on Old Belgrade Road in Augusta, Maine opened on November 9th, 2013 (Edwards, 2013). This hospital is a $312 million facility part of MaineGeneral Medical Center. The Alfond Center for Health consists of 192 beds in single occupancy rooms and employs approximately 1,700 people (Edwards, 2013).

My class of 18 students travels about 20 minutes on a yellow school bus to get to the Alfond Center for Health. As we approached the approximately 64,000 square-foot facility I could not help but think that the modernized to almost futurist architecture completely modified the atmosphere of the hospital (Edwards, 2013). The welcoming building was painted a mellow green, thus the building is perceived by the guest as calming rather than terrifying. The building also utilized windows, which stretched from the roof to the ground. The entrance also welcomed guest with an abundance of plants and benches. The whole class gazed at the building and then processed into the building stopping at the front desk.

The inside of the hospital continued the natural , calming atmosphere with earth toned walls and decor. The employees had a soothing smile as they walked past our large group. At that point I was convinced that I was no longer in a hospital. A traditional hospital would have an eerie and reserved aura that causes patients to feel uncomfortable.  We continued to create nametags while sauntering up the stairs. The hallway was lined with plaques about the history of healthcare in the region leading up to the construction of this building. We followed it to a moderately sized conference room filled with residents of the University of New England Medical School. There we were split up into tour groups; we were organized into groups of four Colby students and two medical school students. My tour group started at the welcoming building’s front desk. Our guides informed us that the purpose of the building design is to have the patients feel that they are closer to nature, which will help with their rehabilitation. I agreed with that, the hospital embodied nature even before you stepped into the door.

While walking to our next destination, out patient rooms, I noticed that my tour guides had a badge attached to their stark white lab coats that read “D.O”. I had never seen or heard of that acronym before now. So out of curiosity I asked  “ What does D.O stand for?”. The tour guides did not look astonished or insulted as I originally expected them to, instead one responded that a D.O is a doctor of orthopedic medicine.  They continued with saying that this type of doctor is taught everything that a M.D is taught, however they focus on more on healing through massaging tissue rather than medicating their patients. I found that the technique of D.O’s are more logical than modern medicine practices, which made me wonder why D.Os weren’t as common as M.Ds. All that I could conclude was that the Doctors of Orthopedic Medicine are the most sensible choice for the modern appeal that the Alfond center desired.

We then continued to the peculiar out patient rooms. The rooms’ front wall was replaced with a larger, clear sliding glass door; this was unlike other examination rooms. I had always felt confined in the small windowless examination rooms at my own hospital. These rooms were spacious and colorful, however the windows created openness to a room that I felt needed more privacy. I was afraid to ask if the doctors felt pressured or awkward while examining patients because anyone could see their performance.

We only went to two other areas on our tour; the doctors on call rooms and the cafeteria. There were about six rooms for the doctors that are needed by the hospitals in the early mornings or at unusual times at night. These rooms were equipped with a flat screen television, computer, bed, bathroom, desk and telephone.  The room may have been simple, but it was successful in serving its purpose. As the guides discussed the purpose of the rooms, I realized the hectic and unorganized life of a doctor. Doctors sometimes have to spend days at the hospital without seeing their family or getting a break.  I had always wanted to be a surgeon; nevertheless I do want to have a family and social life separate from my career. After being in this hospital for an hour I had completely changed my perspective of hospitals and my future.

Our final destination on the tour was the cafeteria. The cafeteria was brightly lite and painted vibrant colors. The tour guides told us that we will find a table and they would continue to answer questions about the healthcare field. We sat at a rectangular table that was far away from everyone in the room and the question segment of the tour commenced. To break the silence, I asked about the process of applying to medical school.  One of our tour guides told us about applying through a medical school common app, tips for the interview and selecting a medical school to attend. Then she talked about how some of her peers applying to medical school did not apply after completing their undergraduate degree.  Some traveled around the world and others decided to play sports. They all decided that they needed a break before going on the stressful path of becoming a doctor. I had not considered taking a break, but the popularity of this option had increased among pre-med students. She continued with saying that some medical schools appreciate that the applicant has more real world experience because this shows that they are confident about attending medical school.  After about an hour of small talk it was time for the grand rounds, which are presentation about medical case studies by high school students from Kent Hill and Colby College students. Our tour had ended and so did my naive perception of healthcare.

I did not realize that this class trip would teach me so much about doctors and hospitals in general.  I have always thought of hospitals as creepy and daunting because of my hospital’s design. After visiting the Alfond Center of Health, I can now see that the future of healthcare is bright. If more hospitals renovations were inspired by the Alfond center than more patients would not be as anxious to attend routine examinations. I also learned that I needed to critically think about my future as a doctor. I have always wanted to be a surgeon, but the long days and stressful medical school education caused me to reconsider. I am only a freshman in college; I still have time to reconsider my life choices. I am glad that I was able to have this experience; it has changed my life.









1. EDWARDS, KEITH. “MaineGeneral Opens Alfond Center, Naturally.” Portland Press Herald. N.p., 29 Sept. 2013. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. <>.



Tags: Maine General

Laurel Whitney: Maine General Hospital in Augusta

February 14th, 2014 · Comments Off on Laurel Whitney: Maine General Hospital in Augusta




This week our class had the opportunity to go to Maine General Hospital in Augusta. When we first arrived we toured the hospital, hosted by medical students from the New England College of Medicine. The new hospital was an amazing facility! The rooms were spacious, the technology was impressive and the design was inspiring. We also had the chance to sit down in small groups and talk to the medical students. I learned a lot about how medical school was structured and rotations. It was great to hear how these students had gotten to where they are now, and hear about what they wanted to do in the future. They gave me great advice for college and got me really excited to attend medical school. Following the tour, our class gathered with the medical students and students from Kent’s Hill college preparatory school. Three groups from our class and three groups from Kent’s Hill presented on medical case studies. It was very nerve wracking to present in front of the doctors and medical students, but they provided us with encouraging feedback and support. It was great to be able to interact with the medical community in this way. It was a great learning experience and an amazing place to showcase our presentations.


Tags: Maine General

Maine General Tour and Grand Rounds with Kent’s Hill

February 14th, 2014 · Comments Off on Maine General Tour and Grand Rounds with Kent’s Hill

Blake McCartney


The tour of Maine General in Augusta and the presentation of Grand Rounds with the Kent’s Hill students was a fabulous experience. Maine General is an amazing facility; it looks more like a hotel than a hospital. Unfortunately, we learned that they slightly under calculated the amount of beds they would need so there is sometimes overflow between the wings. When we arrived Sophie and I went on our tour with a Medical school student at University of New England named Britney. She had great insight on how to get to medical school – and how to decide whether or not you would want to go in the first place. It was interesting, Britney only applied to 6 schools! Most of her classmates applied to around twenty.

University of New England is an osteopathic school, so these students will graduate Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine. Britney described it as being a regular M.D. except when you cannot think of another treatment you use osteopathic manipulation. The most simple explanation was to compare it to using chiropractics. Osteopathic schools are an alternative to Medical School and definitely something to consider in the medical field.

Britney’s biggest piece of advice to us was to keep a routine during Med school, even during exam week. Also, she suggested taking one night off a week from studying – just to keep yourself sane. Panicking doesn’t help your grades, and you need sleep. This was definitely a theme Dr. K focused on during this semester of A&P. I think I learned the first week that cramming and staying up all night a few times in a row is not conducive to success – or a healthy lifestyle. Britney said it took her a long time to learn that though; a lot of her classmates never learned. Ultimately, she recommended staying as de-stressed as humanly possible. This is something I strived to achieve over Jan Plan. I learned a lot about my studying habits and strategies from this Jan Plan. Hopefully I will be a lot more efficient this semester; I think I have learned what does and what does not work. Britney also stressed that people have different learning styles. Some textbooks might not be written in a way that is easy for you to understand. Further, some professors’ lectures might not be helpful; learning those sections from the book might be more time efficient.

After talking with the Medical students we gave our Grand Rounds presentations.  Everyone was very supportive of us; giving a ton of positive feedback.  It was also a great public speaking experience, especially in front of a room full of doctors and Medical school students. Everyone was very friendly, but their level of knowledge was intimidating. I think they all recognized that they were in our position once and were very impressed with the lectures. I would love to have more public speaking experience, so I was really glad we were given this opportunity. I was also really impressed by the Kent’s Hill high school students – I wish I knew that much as a highschooler! This trip was one of the highlights of the class for me.


I actually did not know how much of a commitment this class would be outside of class hours. It wasn’t really what I expected from a Jan Plan class. In the end I am really happy I took this course. It was quite a few ups and downs! I don’t know when I would have learned the things I learned about my study habits. I realized I need to prepare in advance and put a lot more time into preparing for lectures. I usually spend too much time cramming, but I now know it is a lot better for me to let the information process with me over a long period of time.  I got discouraged a lot this Jan Plan and as a result did poorly on some of the assignments, quizzes, etc. It got better though and I am so glad I stuck with it and didn’t quit. I wish this class could have been extended over an entire semester. I learned a ton of anatomy and physiology, but I also learned a lot of valuable things about myself that will help me throughout the rest of my college career. This course was extremely challenging, but we got so many opportunities such as Body Worlds, the Maine General Tour, dissecting the pig heart, among many others. I enjoyed it and think it was a rewarding month.

Tags: Maine General

Phoebe Hughes: My Experience in Human A&P

February 14th, 2014 · Comments Off on Phoebe Hughes: My Experience in Human A&P

Phoebe Hughes


In anatomy and physiology this year we did a ton of cool activities. We got to go to the Maine General Hospital in Augusta, learn about all the body systems, dissect a pig heart, and much more. Two activities I found interesting were the Robert Lusting video and going to Maine General Hospital. Although the labs were fun, the class was also difficult. It challenged and pushed me, but I enjoyed it and learned not only about A & P but also some valuable study skills.

During the first week and a half, the class was mostly lectures. It was really hard to absorb all the information and be quizzed on it the next day. In high school, I had never had to study very much. However when you’re learning a new body system every day, it is hard do to well without studying a ton. Although I studied some for the first lab test, I did not do as well as I would have liked. The class taught me to go over the material every night (not only the new information but old material too). After using this method, I felt much more prepared for the second lab test.


[Here is a subset of the participants in the Metabolic Analysis Lab collaboration between the Colby A&P class and the Waterville High School cross country team. Left to right: Phoebe Hughes, Rob Stanton (WHS cross country coach), WHS athlete, Thom Klepach (Instructor Human A&P)]

After getting the hard core lectures out of the way, we were able to do more labs and go on field trips. One place we went was to the Maine General Hospital. Kasey and I were showed around the hospital by a very nice third year med student named Lincoln. He showed us the behind the scenes of the hospital. He even let us see the maternity ward (a very exclusive place). One amazing aspect of the hospital is how it serves the public and the doctors. For the patients there are single rooms and family waiting rooms all through the hospital and for the heroes of the hospital, the doctors and nurses and residents and med students, there are rooms to sleep in while they are on call at night, medicine transporters to make access easier for nurses, and areas for research and paper work. Additionally the hospital is platinum LEED certified. As Lincoln showed us through the hospital, he also explained how these aspects of the facility make a big difference in the community. It was a remarkable place to visit and made such an impact on me.


The Bi265j class from Colby, Kents Hill A&P with Alex Wall and the UNE medical students.


The Robert Lusting video, The Complete Skinny on Obesity, also made an impression. Some members of my family have weight issues and therefore metabolic syndrome concerns me greatly.  I recommend a few of them to watch it and learn about possible consequences of obesity. It is a considerable problem in the United States. The severity of obesity in children surprised me and I found the increase of obesity in the past fifty years shocking. This is a problem the nation must address in more ways than the standard calorie counting diet which the video discredits. It explained that it is not the calories that are the problem but what type of calories.  My mother always tries to follow weird diets (including counting calories), which do not exactly work, but I never truly understood why. The video helped explain that the increased sugar consumption is our main dietary issue. Sugar is mostly fructose, which can only be used by the liver to make fat. And although fat does secrete leptin, a hormone which tells your brain you are full, in obese people this hormone does not work causing over eating. As a whole, the video made me think about my diet and how to be healthier.

"If you have no choice, how can it be personal responsibility?  We've been told what to eat by the nanny state of the food industry, and we've gone along with it because it's sweet."- Dr. Robert Lustig

“If you have no choice, how can it be personal responsibility? We’ve been told what to eat by the nanny state of the food industry, and we’ve gone along with it because it’s sweet.”- Dr. Robert Lustig

Healthy living is a concept Dr. Klepach adamantly promotes throughout the class. He stresses the need of eight hours of sleep, keeping a healthy diet, and exercising. In his class, he leads by example, making him a great professor. He provides us with everything we need to succeed in the class. He puts up the power point presentations of the lectures and labs on Moodle and even records them for us to view later. These power points and videos are a great way to study and they allow me to focus on learning the information better in class rather than having to just copy it all down. This being said, the class is still extraordinarily challenging. I learned a great deal and enjoyed it, but unless you want to work in the medical field, I would not recommend taking this class. It is very time consuming, with three hours and forty five minutes of class and another two hours of studying per night. However, if I had the opportunity to go back in time and redo my Janplan selection, I would still choose Anatomy and Physiology. I liked learning about all the different body systems and being able to apply my knowledge. In fact, today at dinner we were talking about blood pressure, and because of this class, I was happily able to answer one of my friend’s questions.

Tags: Maine General