Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's Not a Toomah. At all.

After endless hours studying human pathology, it's not uncommon for medical students to become convinced they suffer from a rare disease or two... or eight. During a psych block, for example, the incidence of obsessive compulsive disorder self-diagnosis among my first year class shot up astronomically.

With much of this week's schedule devoted to discussing brain tumors, I feel a bit of prophylactic cautionary advice is in order. See, in learning how to make a diagnosis, we're taught to remember Occam's razor - that, in general, the simplest explanation is most likely. In other words, that dropped pen or sudden muscle jerk in lecture probably results from dozing during class and not a cerebellar lesion.

Moral of the story: you probably don't have a brain tumor. And if Occam isn't a funny enough last name for you, take it from this guy...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Bionic Man

Spend any amount of time in an anatomy lab and you'll quickly discover that the crisp, bright colors of a Netter's atlas are nowhere to be found in an actual cadaver.

Which means if you happen upon oddly vivd pink gums while bisecting the head, they're probably dentures. Shiny silver prongs poking within a great vessel? That would be an IVC filter. And no, that bright yellow tube left in the urethra is not another fascial plane, but a foley catheter left for you to find.

All these surprises laid in wait deep within our cadaver. Other highlight from our class included a pacemaker and an artificial hip.

Still, I doubt anything will ever top the handicap parking permit I once encountered buried in a patient's skin folds...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Playing Doctor

I'm just going to take a quick listen to your Beatles collection, sir...

Stethoscope headphones via Geekologie.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Ah medical school, where the most physical contact I'll experience on Valentine's Day involves practicing the cranial nerve exam...