L: Are CD8 T cells and NK cells the same thing
M: You honestly should be embarrassed
L: I'm still going to get this wrong on the exam, watch.
-L, wants to be a radiologist anyways; M, very supportive
Admission #77: Gunnerhea
Description: biopsychosocial infectious disease occuring in students of the medicine.
Etiology: USMLEs, boards, shelf exams, presence of a famous, well-to-do lecturer or physician, finals that are scheduled closely in time; cumulative finals have shown a sharp spike in gunnerhea incidence. Can also exist in a chronic state, etiology unknown. Studies suggest psychosocial, emotional, and genetic predispositions lead some to be more susceptible to gunnerhea than others.
Transmission: Verbal and physical transmission. Staying in libraries or in close proximities with infected individuals.
Signs and Symptoms: Twitching, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, mood-changes, weight lose or gain, pressured speech, poor social skills, paranoia. In severe and/or acute forms, can lead to uncontrolled aggression, frontal cortex compromise of executive functions (planning, social acumen, judgement, orientation to place, date, and time), panic attacks, and general anxiety disorder.
Diagnostic Tests: Question Test: Ask patient a medically-related question of narrow range (ex. So how can you tell if someone’s macrocytic anemia is due to B12 or folate deficiency?). If answer exceed 5 minutes in duration and topic begins to diverge, it is a positive Question Test. Another, more subjective test that can be used by the seasoned physicians: Assessment of Social Stability (ASS) Whole-Person Evaluation. This requires a detailed social history and mental status exam.
Example of a positive ASS-Whole: “A guy cut me off in traffic today and started cussing me out. I pulled the nine-iron out of my trunk to show him who’s boss. You know who won THAT fight.”
Example of a borderline ASS-Whole: “How did you know that answer? I didn’t know that answer. Oh my God, I hate my life. Stop being so happy.”
Example of a negative ASS-Whole: “I’m kinda tired but I’d love to grab coffee and go over some pharm with you. Two heads are better than one!”
Treatment: avoid contact with individuals with gunnerhea; isolation is recommended for these individuals. Usually self-limiting once the stressors are resolved (ie, finals are over or the physician leaves).
(That nine-iron story? That was my friend…whom I am more than a little afraid of now. Morale: don’t lose yourself to scores, tests, or pressure. Be healthy in mind, body, and spirit!)
I’m just going to write about tuberculosis because honestly if they skip it to test on leprosy then I will stage a protest.”
— another study guide from a classmate. HIGH YIELD YO.
Bacillis anthracis: found in sheep’s wool and terrorists’ homes”
— study guide made by a classmate.
Out for the next 7 days
My tumblr’s probably going to be radio silent for the next week due to a storm of tests (1 down, 3 to go!). See you all on the other side! :)
J: Nice graffiti on your arms
Me: What are you--oh shit. I was writing to ID all my arm muscles and tendons.
J: Probably want to wash that off before tomorrow's test
Me: Yeah. Wait...what if I paint my finger nails? I color code them for medial or ulnar innervation!
J: I am going to give you my bag of Cheetos. Because clearly you've gone insane with hunger.
-Me, devoured all the Cheetos; J, has been watching Captain America on his laptop while 'studying'
Me (entering office space): Woah. What happened here?
Z: Oh, D, J, and I were playing a game we invented.
Me: And how did you guys play this?
Z: We found a stash of plastic cups, which we started to throw into trash cans, drawers, and chairs.
Z: And then we decided to see how far we could throw the giant foam ball on my desk down the hall.
Z: We call it OfficeBall
Me: So why are all the power cords tied together on the arm of that rolly chair?
Z: Just wanted to make the office pretty.
-Z, late-night study buddy; Me, should've eaten dinner at the office tonight.
So I noticed that your class watches Youtube videos of cats when a lecture gets boring or difficult.”
— school dean, watching us watching cat videos
cranquis asked: When studying, what is your preferred environment (location, sounds, comfort level, amount of isolation from others, etc)?
Cranquis, you know the mind of a med student! ;)
I have given a lot of thought to this over the past months, and this is what has been working for me:
Location: No coffee shops. Many people love them, I just can’t do them! In my bedroom. Favorite place: I am blessed to have a school that gives us all little cubicles and workspaces. So my school-designated workspace would be my #1 choice!
Sounds: a little ambient noise; I can’t do complete silence. If I need a little music for motivation, my current soundtrack includes: Adele, mash-ups, AC/DC (always. I’m a big 80s rock fan), Mumford and Sons.
Isolation: I need isolation when I am first mastering material (the first-pass through notes, etc.). On subsequent passes, I like to be around a few people with whom I study well. We tend to have different strengths and weaknesses, making for very well-rounded, informal ‘study groups’. In fact, some of them have made some guest appearances on this blog! E, J and B, NS, D, N, A, and K to name a few. But generally, only 1 to 5 of these people at a time…otherwise, it’s a party!
Comfort level: Water, working pens, comfortable chair, high ceilings good lighting, NO SMELLS. I have a very sharp nose, and smells distract me worse than any sound or sight. I think that’s also why I can’t work in coffee shops; they smell too good! Libraries for the same reason: they literally smell of fear and stress, and I hate that.
Snacks: My brain foods are dried seaweed, apples, minty gum, japaleno/spicy chips, gummy bears.
Thank you again and much love! As always, your support and encouragement is so appreciated :)
We’re doing ‘In Paris’ by Jay-Z and Kanye. Because I rewrite the lyrics with med school references when I’m suppose to be studying.”
— T, Kanye in our future med school Youtube music video