Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Triaging Information

The "normal" medical definition of triage is prioritizing patients based on their urgency of need of care.  However, we (me and Jenna - remember her from all those Ecuador posts?  She's still around, I just can't seem to get rid of her) have created a new, and in my opinion, better, definition of triage for medical school.  Basically it means skipping over any information that we decide is not important enough to spend precious study time on.

There are overwhelming amounts of information to memorize for each test, so we have to prioritize where we spend our time, ideally spending more time on the topics that are more likely to show up on the test.  Usually we do a pretty bad job - we'll spend 2 weeks studying like 5 lectures (you know, so we can learn them reallly realllly well), and then all of the sudden we have 3 days to study the rest of the 30 lectures (and then forget everything about the first 5 lectures anyway).  So when it comes down to crunch time, you just can't spend the time on learning the inane details of all 30 of those lectures.  We started using triage as a synonym for prioritizing our time, but it's quickly taken on its new meaning.

"Do you think we need to know the serology for all the hepatitis viruses?"
"Triage it"

"What about the names of all the mosquitoes that carry encephalitic viruses?"
"Triage it"

"Horse viruses?"
"Triage them, and why are they even included in this course?!"

And so, ladies and gentlemen, triage now means skip.  Try to use it at least once in a sentence today.

Breathing? No - Dead. Thanks, triage card!

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