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ISM Project Introduction and Purpose Paper

This semester in ISM I have the privilege to shadow my mentor, Dr. Eric
Santos. Dr. Santos is an orthopedic spinal surgeon. I spend one day a week
with him in his office seeing patients and learning about their conditions. I
am very grateful to have this amazing opportunity, to learn and gain
experience before I make a long term decision on the field of medicine I will
want to be in. I am a senior Clear Falls high school, and have taken many CTE
and medical related classes because of my interest in the medical field. Dr.
Santos not only instructs me on the orthopedic spectrum of the medical field,
but also many other branches of medicine such as general practices, and ER
surgery, because of his background as a Naval surgeon. On an average office
day, I have the opportunity to move room to room with Dr. Santos,
Interacting with the patients and diagnosing their symptoms. Often using the
Physical Examination Of The Spine And Extremities. I am able to observe
how Dr. Santos communicates with the patients in a strongly educated, but
caring manner. I have become well know with Dr. Santoss staff, creating a
strong professional relationship.
This paper focuses on one of the most useful examinations used by Dr.
Santos, and the majority of other Spinal Orthopedic Surgeons. This is the
physical examination of the spine and other extremities. This examination
focuses on diagnosing symptoms/pain and numbness, in different parts of
the body to locate where the problem is in the spine. Such as a herniated

disc, that is applying pressure on the spinal cord and creating pain in an
extremity of the body. This Examination is the first step taken towards
diagnosing a problem with the spine. It also gives the patient familiarity with
what there injury, so they can watch for increases and decreases in their
condition. This examination even makes it easy for the radiologists to locate
the problem area, and take a good X-Ray or even a MRI, for further
My end goal for this semester and the final project is to be able to
perform the physical examination of the spine and extremities. My
preparation for this test will be studying the book over this topic Dr. Santos
gave me, and visiting the office once a week to go over with him and even
the patients, what I learned from studying the previous week. Dr. Santos has
also given me other online resources to further my studies on the topic. The
most valuable form of studying this examination is the face to face
interaction I have with the patients. Dr. Santos is always involving me in his
diagnosis by asking me questions and testing my judgment.
My project will include two parts, a PowerPoint, and a life size dummy
to perform the examination on. The Power Pont will go step by step through
the examination for easy understanding, while I demonstrate on the dummy.
When preforming to the class this presentation will be very interactive by
asking for volunteers to help me demonstrate, or even perform part of the
examination for them self. My objective of the project is to inform the

interested on how spinal injuries are diagnosed, and the examination that is
used every day in the spinal orthopedic field.