Visit to the School of Medicine

October 17, 2016 at 12:06 PM

With thanks to Year 12 student reporters, Lisa Miyaura and Tate McGregor

Perhaps a career in medicine…? What about physiology or pathology, neurology or nursing, oncology or orthopaedics, genetics or geriatrics?

On Wednesday 12 October, the two Year 12 International Baccalaureate Biology classes were lucky enough to attend the School of Medicine at Auckland University. There, we discovered that there is much more to a medical career than we could have known.

We began our tour in the Medical Sciences Learning Centre which contained various preserved anatomical cross sections and organ samples – the largest collection in the country! We were able to investigate these samples to learn about diseases and the different forms they can take in the human body. It was amazing to pick up a real brain with an aneurysm, a foetus from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and a stomach that had ingested corrosive acid.

The primary purpose of our trip to the Medical School was to carry out a practical experiment to investigate the effects of exercise on ventilation and gas exchange in the lungs. This has a direct link to energy expenditure.

The experiment involved spending 15 minutes on an exercycle, while being attached to a heart monitor, breathing receptor and oxygen mask and bag. These devices were all connected to the lab computers, where we could collect and analyse the data.

Not only was this an International Baccalaureate Diploma prescribed Biology investigation, it is also an experiment that Second Year Health Science Students complete as part of the Physiology section of their degree at Auckland University. It was a privilege to do this experiment in a real science lab with state of the art technology and the help of two University Lecturers.

Overall, this experience made us consider how we could turn our interest in Biology into a career.

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