Misleading Names

Sometimes before a test I read a text
inspect the index and get vexed
by the way they name names
in the main it’s insane
the lame games
leading to these far from plain names.

Intermittent explosive disorder, just to start off
first hearing about it you’d think it must be part of
some sort of under-hand terror plot
but understand that’s an error – it’s not.
It’s just people who’s mood can turn quickly to rage
(I learned that from a Wikipedia page).

Or, worse yet, super male syndrome would imply
sufferers with super strength who could in fact fly
but no, they don’t even have laser vision!
clearly this eponym needs major revision.

Let’s not even start on Sonic Hedgehog diprosopus
and leprechaunism or they’d never stop us
because it seems logic just goes right out the door
-perhaps geneticists shouldn’t write books anymore.

Dancing Med Students

Ok people, listen,
get out of the fetal position
repro’s over for now, until exam revision.
The uni’s next planned decision
is to teach us with bland precision
the ins and outs of the MS division.

Musculoskeletal – sprains and strains
fractures and rheumatologic pains.
The examination’s like a series of games
I always win at Yergason’s when the patient’s lame.

But how do you remember the order for supination,
extension, flexion and internal rotation?
Much less all the tests for intact sensation,
it’s really all just an overload of information.

So everyone seems to be formulating dances
the patient copies the moves and the chance is
good that you’ll eventually get all the answers,
cover every test except the ones for cancer.

And sure, that strategy’s sound
but it’s a little disconcerting when I look around
to see half the people in the room bobbing up and down
adducting their shoulders like epileptic clowns.

Oh well, at least their ridiculous actions
provide me with some welcome distraction
from reading up on muscle fibre interaction…


A week of study’s gone by so fast
but at last we’re past the point where the die is cast.
Tommorow the first exam’s looming
we’re expecting the worst but everyone plans assuming
even if they can’t nail it, it’s not as if a whole class could fail it
thanks to the beautiful bell curve (we all hail it
as our guarantee that the questions will be,
if not easy, at least written reasonably).

Multi-Tasking in Lectures

The lights go off, we all sit down
the lecturer takes a moment to walk around.

I’m sitting in a lecture on urogenital development,
the guy in front of me is sleeping – clearly doesn’t think it’s relevant.
The professor’s explaining something about the meta-nephros,
I try to recall if I’ve heard it all before but still I’m at a loss.

The student to my right’s playing a game on his new i-phone.
The girl behind me complains about someone she once knew, in a whiny tone.
The lecturer says ‘penis’ and an idiot somewhere laughs.
Been seated long enough for DVTs so I slowly flex my calf.

Half the class tote Apple Macs for no apparent reason.
My feet are freezing cold ‘cos air conditioning knows no season.
Some guy runs out the lecture hall ‘cos he just got a text.
I’m starting to get bored and wonder which class I have next…


This post is born purely out of procrastination,
a sign that I’ve succumbed to the temptation
to abandon my essay writing activities
and instead indulge my less productive proclivities
such as writing inane, convoluted blog posts in rhyme.
I had a better post planned but at this time I’m
personally inclined to write about a topic that’s been on my mind
even though it’s probably less interesting than what you’d otherwise find
if I’d stuck to my original intention but as I previously mentioned
I’m writing a long pointless essay on ethics and I’d like to make a contention
that contrary to what my lecturer would like me to believe,
the thing that I think, what’s currently bothering me
is that try as I might I can’t help but perceive
that’s it’s less about ethics than trendy vocabulary.

Now, I have no problem with writing, as you can see,
I could write and write until my hands bleed if need be
but I suspect that those with a point and an ethical mind
will ultimately end up been left far behind
if they fail to tap the sociology marker’s real goldmine
of high BWPL (that’s buzzwords per line).
Fortunately, it’s no issue, with my word making up ability,
ie, this gem: ethnodiscomambubinility
(you could almost believe it’s a real word, right?
No? Well, cut me some slack, I have been up studying all night)

But my point (if I can really be said to have one at all)
is that even though there’s certainly a call
for ethical issues and written expression to get a
more in-depth treatment so tommorow’s doctors communicate better
(preferably, but not necessarily, in rhyming stanzas)
I still have to wonder, is this really our best answer?

Would ‘You’re So Vein’ Be a Lame Title?

Now we’re learning some actual clinical skills in our classes
instead of just memorising facts in the hope that they’ll pass us.
Today, we practiced venipuncture, IM and SC injection technique,
we’ll be assessed on the respiratory exam sometime next week.

The skills we practiced today were simple enough
(although on our artificial model nothing could be too tough).
IM and sub-cut were 80% stabbing ability,
while angle and depth introduced only slight subtlety.

For venipuncture, I must admit, we did need more
fine motor skills to guide in the fixed needles
and butterfly clips with various protuberances
but in the end everyone managed to work out the appurtenances.

And look, they even let me keep a souvenir (obviously not actual blood)

History Lesson

The first assessment in the medical curriculum will
be history taking – an activity in which I have some skill
thanks to my time spent working as a pharmacist in the community
and I feel that experience will surely advantage me.

But although it’s listed as an assessment in all our documentation,
it’s “formative”, which means it’s something closer to an initiation
into the grading structure and the format of the actual markable test
conducted mainly to give us feedback for our own professional interest.

But although this doesn’t officially count towards our final grade
it does get recorded and in a few weeks we’ll watch the DVDs that we made
of us taking a history from our colleagues playing the parts of patients
acting as if they suffered from a range of mysterious, unknown ailments.

My partner played the part of the doctor first
while I pretended to be a patient with the worst
diarrhoea he’d ever had with intermittent emesis
(that’s vomiting, for those of you don’t know what it is)

My partner actually did really well,
until right at the end she fell
into a trap you’d think she would have saw
and forgot to turn off the video feed before she swore.

I don’t know what reaction that’ll get when our class views the DVD.
She was worried about our tutor’s opinion, but if you ask me
no-one will care. We’re all adults and I’m sure we’ve all heard worse
than someone idly dropping an impulsive, poorly timed curse.

After that little faux pas it was my turn to record a history.
Her fake patient had productive cough and other respiratory
symptoms. It was fairly easy to work down the question list
and a record of travel to India was the only detail I missed.

Taking a patient’s medical history (at least in this artificial case)
is surprisingly simple but perhaps I’m just used to having to face
real patients in the past who were usually either confused, confusing or hostile
and by comparison these prewritten scripts for preclinical students are a little bit facile.

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