Thursday, April 30, 2009

In case you've forgotten

I think in light of the current "swine flu" situation, it's timely to remind everyone of the dangers of aspirin, children, and the flu. You might remember this from a couple of decades gone by:

In all seriousness, you don't want Reye's syndrome, and you don't want swine flu either. So...wash your hands, stay home if you're sick, etc. (you know the drill) Most importantly, if you ARE sick, stay away from ME.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Lots of people go to college for 7 years"

Well, I just took my last exam before finals (I passed :) ). I've been done with lectures for awhile, we had our last one last week. I've studied my little heart out for a year and a half. And now nothing but the "Intro to Clinical Diagnosis" and "Pathology" national "shelf" exams, and the USMLE Step 1 stands between me and starting third year. So, in honor of all of that, I've decided to make a list of the things that I really liked about the first 2 years of medical school (as opposed to most of my posts, which have mostly catalogued the things that I didn't like).

So, in the order that I remember, here we go:
  1. In gross anatomy lab, my dissection group coined the term "dissection ladle". Yes, it's what it sounds like. We also referred (and sometimes still do) to ourselves as "the four horsemen".
  2. For the first semester or so of first year, I convinced my classmates to celebrate "123456" every night at 12:34 and 56 seconds. By the way, get excited for July 8, 2009.
  3. When we were in a pharmacology lecture discussing Fomepizole (a drug that inhibits alcohol dehydrogenase, one of the enzymes that breaks down ethanol, methanol, etc., and is used in treating things like methanol poisoning), from the back of the classroom, someone (it wasn't me) asks, "So, could you take that to make your buzz from drinking last longer?"
  4. When you go to med school at the South Bend center, you get ND football tickets
  5. When I came to look at the apartment I lived in first year (before I moved in), on the way to it, I saw three separate instances of people getting arrested within about a half mile where I lived. I wouldn't necessarily say I lived in the "nice part of town".
  6. Apparently we have more fun at medical school here in South Bend. Because I was talking to my friend that goes to medical school in Ohio, and, well, for some reason we were talking about anatomy lab, and I said something about a bonesaw, and "how many times did you make that joke during lab?" (like "Bonesaw" from Spiderman) Well, the answer for me and "the four horsemen" was "too many to count", but all he said was "what joke?" So, I'm guessing we have more fun here.
  7. I'm passing medical school, the majority with Honors or High Pass, but I still can't remember the "i-before-e" rule.
  8. I may not be able to spell yeild (wait, I think that's wrong...), but I CAN spell "dysdiadochokinesia" and "erythropoietin".
  9. Everybody made fun of it, but when the one doctor came to talk to us about something (I'm not sure why he was there, it was mostly just him rambling about things) he said that when someone comes in to see you as the physician, you should aks yourself "Mah nishtanah ha-lahylah ha-zeh mi-kol ha-layloht?" or "Why is this night different from all other nights?" before you start figuring out what's wrong.
  10. I've always been told that its not OK to refer to morbidly obese patients as "Jabba the Hutt", but residents do it anyway.
  11. "Fellow" is a word that denotes a person is in a fellowship, and is not interchangeable with the word "chap". I made that mistake one time when I wasn't thinking, and I have yet to live it down, over a year later. (What it says about me that I actually used the word "chap", I'll leave up to you to decide)
  12. Eponyms are good to use when you want to sound smart. For example; "Babinski's sign" versus "upgoing toes".
  13. Mnemonics are fun.
  14. I used to hate it when people talked about their "life verse". I always thought, that's a bunch of bologna. Until I found mine. It's Acts 26:24 :)
  15. Since we're talking religion, I've dicovered that while God may have created the rest of the world, Satan was undoubtedly responsible for creating the kidney.
  16. I really like neuroscience. No jokes involved.
  17. I've heard that undergrad is where you learn "nothing about everything", and graduate school is where you learn "everything about nothing". Medical school (a form of professional school, not technically graduate school) is where you memorize everything.
Well, this started out as a list of things that I liked about med school. I think it ended as that. Of course, the end of "preclinical" training is when the real work begins; "out of the frying pan" as they say. But I've got about a month and a half of some real hard-core studying to do before then.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Band Names

Oh my, has this been a monumentous week, or what? Why is that, you ask? Well, I'll tell you why. Because this week, I had my final lecture of second year. That means that all that separates me from being done with my "preclinical" years of med school is a few final exams, and the USMLE Step 1. So, no this should be a walk in the park from here till June...

And I hear that third year is great. I hear that everyone in the hospital loves medical students, and so I'm expecting everyone will be really nice to me there, especially my attendings. I've also heard that nurses really like medical students. I also heard that the work isn't all that hard, you rarely have to stay late, and we're encouraged to wear Heelys to work in.

And then I woke up...

Well, I don't know about the Heelys part, I haven't really asked. But as far as I know, none of the other stuff is true :(.

But on the positive side of life, at least its Saturday. Which means, of course, that instead of studying with/being distracted by other people at school, or the library, or wherever I end up going to study tonight, I get to study by myself.

Umm... yes... that is on the positive side of life... ...I love medicine.

While I'm rambling... I spend a lot of time reading about psychiatry last week. Well, I doubt I'm the first one to realize this, but there are a TON of good band names that you could come up with from psychiatry. For example, how could you argue with a band called "Clang"? Now, most of the ones I thought of would really only work for something like a trance/techno group. The best one I came up with was "A Brief Reactive Psychosis". (BTW, I'm looking for members...) I fully expect that would go platinum (or, would it go "Lithium"?!) in a heartbeat.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The final countdown

I'm currently in the middle of a few lectures on psychiatry. Well, I'm not physically IN them right now, but you know what I mean... anyway, I was sitting in lecture, and the psychiatrist talking to us made a big deal about the difference between "delusions" and "illusions". Well, there's also something called "flight of the conchords ideas", and I think I've got that one. Because it's basically that when you're talking to a patient, you can't really follow their train of thought.

Why do I say I've got it? Well, because the entire time I was reading about "illusions", all I could think was: "They're illusions, Michael." And if I said anything, no one would be able to follow my train of thought... not that that's never happened before... or since.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Once again, it's been awhile since I wrote anything last. I've been keeping busy, of course. I am pleased to announce that spring looks like it's finally gotten to South Bend! It did snow once last week, but I think that was just a fluke... Anyway, speaking of snow in South Bend, I have finally gotten my rotation schedule for this upcoming year, and I am mostly happy with my schedule. Except for the one thing--I've been planning on doing my Family Medicine clerkship here in South Bend, because there aren't enough spots to have everyone do that rotation in Indy, and I don't want to get get sent to just some random town in Indiana (plus, I've met some of the family medicine folks here in town, and they seem nice enough, so win-win, I guess)--I'm doing the family medicine clerkship in January... so, it's looking like I'll be spending at least part of another winter in South Bend enjoying mother nature's greatest gift: lake effect snow.

Oh, and check this out. It's the greatest thing to hit YouTube since "the bat-fetcher-trick with my teeth!"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Why am I going into medicine?

Because I would make a terrible accountant!

Take my survey!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

In a "fix"

Have I ever mentioned my love of prefixes? No? Well, let me tell you, I do, in fact, love prefixes. They're like the icing on the cake that is language. In fact, there's probably nothing I like better in language than prefixes, iambic pentameter notwithstanding.

But of course, there IS such a thing as too much of a good thing. Chemists, I think we can all agree, are a little crazy. And expecially so when it comes to prefixes. They have a whole system of naming compunds based around prefixes. Its called IUPAC nomenclature, and it gives us neat names like "(11β)-​11,​17,​21-​trihydroxypregn-​4-​ene-​3,​20-​dione", where we could have just said "cortisol".

But medicine is immune to this sort of thing, right? Wrong. Ever heard of Hypothyroidism? What about Hypoparathyrodism? Or Pseudohypoparathroidism? Or (my new favorite) Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism?!?

In case you're wondering, this is what ends up happening while I'm "pseudostudying" or "hypostudying". I have yet to do any "pseudohypostudying", and I think "pseudopseudohypostudying" involves substance abuse. So, none of that for me.