Going Down Swinging

Two posts in one week? Must be winter break.

Working through the lung unit is the perfect time to get a lecture in about hypersensitivity reactions. “Hypersensitivity” is medicine’s fancy word for “my head takes on the size and consistency of a watermelon when the weather changes” or “my body thinks a cashew is smallpox.” Continue reading

My Heart Will Go On… Maybe

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

The Cup Of Shame

My dad taught me to play chess when I was seven or eight. We played intermittently from that day until I left for college ten years later.

(There’s a medical school-related part to this, chill out.)

I learned the game easily enough and began developing a strategy. But for four years, I never won. Not once. Not when I first learned the game at eight and didn’t know how to pack my own lunch. Not when I was failing long division at age nine. And not when I was ten and learning how to find the value of x in 2x+2=4. Continue reading

The First Patient! (Sort Of)

When my grandfather attended medical school back in the day, students had very little (if any) hands-on training with patients until the third year, when they rotated through the hospital wards. Medical schools now recognize the imperative to expose their future doctors to doctoring early and often and many advertise “PATIENT CONTACT ON DAY 1!!” as a selling point for their institution, right next to the pictures of smiling attractive young people in white coats fluidly wielding their stethoscopes. Continue reading