Being a medical student has a few major drawbacks besides your standard “my life is consumed with never ending hours of studying obscure medical facts.” One of the biggest problems is that school is so all-consuming that it’s very challenging to talk about anything else – either with your classmates or with other people. When I call my mom (okay, more like she calls me), we can usually make it 5 minutes before I start yammering about hormones or V/Q mismatch or EKG changes post-MI.
Even though I know no one cares, I still can’t help it. None of us can. Continue reading →
Last week contained fourteen hours’ worth of exams – our comprehensive “end of block assessment” for the systems of the heart, lung, kidney, and blood. Plus anatomy and many other things I didn’t know. The Friday portion of the exam was a three-hour multiple choice exam of boards-style questions. For those of you that aren’t medical people, boards questions are notoriously difficult and are representative of the test all graduating medical students must pass to match into a residency program. An example: Continue reading →
We have a test coming up next week, and it is a huge one. Normal and abnormal stuff for hearts, lungs, kidneys, and blood. There is a lot of stuff that is supposed to go right and a lot of things that can go wrong. (See? I’ve been studying!) The test is three days long, starting on Tuesday.
Vomit. Continue reading →
After covering the heart and the kidneys, we’re now on the lungs. And with the lungs come chest x-rays. With chest x-rays come opacities and focal calcifications and diffuse consolidations. Also confusion, incompetency, and dismay.
We had an hour-long lecture on chest x-rays earlier this week by a very effusive radiologist. He was quite intent that radiology is the best specialty and nearly begged us to come visit him in the radiology suite, which I can only assume is a dark closet in the hospital sub-basement. He spent so much time trying to impress upon us that radiology is the funnest, greatest specialty of them all that I am quite convinced it is not. Continue reading →
When I was a postbac student shadowing doctors in the hospital, I learned that medical centers have a status hierarchy all their own. It resembles a cult, actually. I wrote about this in “Medicine Dress Code:” medical students wear short white coats, residents have slightly longer coats, and attendings – highest on the seniority ladder – have near-wizard length, Merlin-style white robes. I have no idea where this custom originated or why it persists, but it is helpful in quickly indicating who you don’t want to irritate.
What I didn’t realize is that the medical world goes further into cult-dom than I originally thought. In fact, medicine has its own language entirely. Continue reading →
The past two weeks have been hard, hence the absence. We’ve been chest-deep in cardiology – everything from normal functioning of the heart to congenital defects to arrhythmias to drug treatments. And we still have a week to go. One could say the amount of material is, uh, disheartening, but that would be a bad pun.
(No worse than the chest-deep one in the first sentence, but you didn’t catch that one, did you?) Continue reading →