Thursday, May 30, 2013

Quotes from an Internal Medicine Attending

"Everyone sees medicine through the anoscope* of their own specialty."

*[anoscope: it's better than a rectoscope]

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Breaking Up with a Med Student

When normal people break up, there's a certain amount of time afterwards where you are insufferable because every little thing reminds you of your significant other and you just have to tell everyone about it.  "This song makes me so sad, we used to listen to it all the time" [most popular song on the radio].  "This is that the ice cream place we passed once and almost thought about going into."   "We're right near where his brother used to live!"  Friend's response to all of the above:  "Oh ...sorry?"

And of course long after you stop being annoying, little things still remind you of him, catching you off guard way too long after the breakup than you probably care to admit.  For normal people, the trigger could be a commercial you laughed at together, a friend suggesting a restaurant the two of you always ate at, a politician you made fun of, a dessert you shared - whatever it is, you see the trigger and your heart rate speeds up a tiny bit, or you get sadly nostalgic for a moment, and then you move on.

When two med students date and break up, it's a little bit of a different story.  I was recently reading a Wikipedia article peer-reviewed article about cutaneous conditions, and one of the pictures on the side was of Norwegian scabies (don't look it up, it's gross) and I kid you not, my heart totally skipped a beat.  I'm not sure what it says about me, or him, or the relationship in general, but Norweigan scabies (and Surinam toads - definitely don't look those up either) are always going to be my trigger.  Fortunately these are things that don't ((often)) come up in everyday conversation.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pretty Much the Same Thing

Patient: You bite your nails?
Me: Unfortunately, yeah.  It's my nervous habit.
Patient: Well, we all got our addictions.  You and your nails, me and my heroin.
Doctor: ::shakes head::

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Personal Statement

Writing a personal statement for residency applications is not that fun, even for someone who loves to write as much as I do.  A friend of mine brought up an excellent point about it.  "For the love of God.  I want to be a [insert specialty here].  Why do I need to write an essay about it?  Doesn't my thousands of dollars of tuition loans speak for themselves?"

And seriously.  A one page essay talking about why we want to be a doctor?  We just finished medical school and we're now applying to residency... what else would we want to do?  Who is out there that doesn't believe us?  (And for those smarties out there going into pharmaceuticals or consulting or something, they wouldn't be writing this essay in the first place because they're not applying to residency!)  Am I wrong?

[Note: Residency directors, don't read this post!  But if you already did... I really really really want to be a doctor, pretty please with a cherry on top.]

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Why It's Impossible to Memorize Anything Ever

So I'm studying the skin chapter in Step Up to Medicine, and I get to the disorder called lichen planus.  No big deal, the book tells me just to remember the 4 P's: pruritic, polygonal, purple, flat-topped papules.  I can forgive them for the last one (I can call it papule (comma) flat-topped, like a last name (comma) first name sort of thing). 

But now fast-forward two pages later (aka three facebook breaks and two youtube videos later), and I get to basal cell carcinoma.  OK, no biggy, the book says it's classic appearance can easily be remembered by the 3 P's: pearly, pink, papule.

. . . .

I'm sorry but that is too many P's in too short a time!  How am I supposed to remember which are the 4 P's and which are the 3 P's, and which one goes with which?  Where is the mnemonic for that??