Semiology is the chapter of medicine that deals with the study of the symptoms and signs of diseases, using semi-technology, which is the set of procedures and methods that the doctor uses to obtain it.
The academic definition makes it very clear that this discipline must be taught and learned with patients. The student, together with their teacher, must feel, listen, check how the person breathes. “And, above all, sitting next to the bed, looking the patient in the eye, asking and listening; listen carefully ”, described the head professor of the Chair of Internal Medicine A of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of La Plata, Eduardo Mansilla.
With the same chair, students study Semiology in 3rd year, 4th Internal Medicine I and 5th Internal Medicine II.
“It is the clinical cycle, which is taught and learned in hospitals, with patients, yes or yes,” stressed the professional. However, under the slogans of ‘staying still, never’ and ‘turning crises into opportunities’, Mansilla drew on an important experience that he developed during the H1N1 virus (swine flu) epidemic and days ago he started the 2020 school year at through a YouTube channel. It was an absolute success.
“More than 400 people followed the inaugural class,” he said, in a chair that for this academic year had about 380 enrolled.
“I thought it was an excellent initiative,” student Pilar Degregorio (22), who lives in Villa Elisa, told this newspaper.
He added that it caught his attention that “such practical matter has solved the problem so quickly and in such an organized way; We practically started on the date set in the school calendar ”.
Later, Pilar explained that “this does not replace the practical part, that is impossible. But in this subject we have to read a lot, and through this path we are advancing the theory. They also made other tools available to us, such as clinical simulations using graphic art, which we found on the Educational Environment site. And they also gave us a lot of bibliography to read on, ”he described.
An example? “It is something that we created with Dr. Cecilia Dacunto in 2017, at the Rossi Hospital. We designed Graphic Art and Semiology, a tool that through the format of the cartoon presents different doctor-patient scenes that students must solve ”, narrated Mansilla.
His student, Pilar Degregorio, explained: “In one scene, an elderly person arrives with a series of symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea. The doctor decides to hospitalize her. Based on the elements that they provide us, we have to answer the question, why was it defined as internment? The answer is that the patient was dehydrated. “
Returning to the inaugural class of Semiology 2020 in the midst of a strict quarantine and with 100 percent use by students, the teacher highlighted the large number of interventions that students made in the YouTube chat.
The class was very entertaining, even for the general public. The doctor made relationships between semiology and literature, sculpture and painting over time, while showing photos and drawings. And, of course, there was no shortage of references to moments of pandemics or epidemics of remote times, including the “misnamed Spanish flu of 1918”.
In the midst of the H1N1 influenza epidemic, better known as the swine flu, Dr. Mansilla had prepared a presentation in the amphitheated classroom of the Integrated University Hospital of the faculty of 60 and 120, with thirty experts from around the world invited; among them, many from the United States. The year was 2009. And the academic unit had to close its doors.
“YouTube was not then a massive tool. Shall we suspend? No. We hired the only one who could do a live international broadcast in the country – at that time. And, in effect, we broadcast live for three days for three hundred guests who followed, each from their computer, the entire exhibition, ”said the head of the chair.
“Also, the exchange was permanent. An extraordinary experience that immersed us fully in the universe of new technologies. Such an event has never been held in the country, ”he said.
Thus, Semiology, even without patients, does not suspend classes in La Plata.