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.

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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…

Exit, Pursued by Dogs

News on my placement for the end of the year:
it looks like I won’t have to spend it here.
I’ve been approved for Dubai in November.
And while I’m overseas, I might sight-see in December.

But amid all this talk of international rotations,
classmates posting applications to distant nations
and their seemingly never ending conversations
on the frustrations
of ambiguous indications from hospital administrations,
I can’t help but sit back and recall
how it was before
back in ‘09 when I went to Singapore.

Well, I was quite broke back then
(plus ça change, plus c’est la même)
so I scoured the internet up and down
until I found the cheapest room and board around,
I ended up in the spare room of a siao liao gal.
It was uncanny how, her life seemed to resemble a Channel 8 drama
but I guess boarding so cheap that was probably my karma
and between two months of observing her life
with apparent addiction to chaos and strife,
I was pursued by a pack of eponymous hounds
I found them hanging around at the edge of town.

See trains and buses had stopped for the night
so, out of options, I hopped in a taxi despite
the cost and not knowing my precise address
my guess was close enough that I thought it best
to just get out and walk the rest.

Within a few hundred meters of my destination,
I managed to recognise a railway station
and decided I’d just follow the train line home.
I would have checked more carefully if only I’d known.
I picked the wrong direction to walk along the MRT,
the path got quieter til there was no-one bar me.

By the time I realised I was all alone
in a nearly deserted commercial zone
and decided maybe this wasn’t quite right
I’d walked almost an hour through the moonlit night.

I decided to turn and find my way back
and that’s when I ran into a stray pack
of five large dogs ready to attack
growling and snapping trying to circle my back.

I walked backwards all the way to the main road
keys in hand (the only sharp thing I had stowed).
Fortunately, once I re-emerged into streetlight
the dogs paused for a moment on the edge of the night
then decided to leave me alone
free to return to the long walk home.

A picture of me shortly before wandering off to be chased by dogs
(Apparently that thing on the so-called lantern has its own movie too. Who’d have thought?)

Jet Lag Sans Jet

In the blink of an eye, time flies by
leaves us wondering how, where, why
the days got away and I really can’t say
what happened to our holidays but anyway
now it’s time to return for second term
to learn more about neuro, repro and derm
but between every lesson we ask the same question,
“What did you do while uni wasn’t in session?”
and most of this conversational procession
are professing the same confession:

“During semester I couldn’t sleep at night, right?
So why fight somnolence when I can do what I like?
Despite the zeit-geber I thought I might
catch up with sleep both day and night
irrespective of dark and light.

Now we’re back on our normal timetable
my sleep pattern could be labelled unstable, I’m unable
to reconcile my sleep phase with the days, it plays
havoc the problem lays in the way I stay
on the biorhythm I was living
in the two weeks given
for us to relax and it’s still out of whack
in fact I lack the ability to get it back on track.”

It’s classic jet lag – a text book example
except all the students in this ample sample
didn’t roam but stayed home in their own time zone.
(And you’re not alone in wondering why this poem’s shown
up after such a delay by the way,
it’s cos my internal clock’s still on Tuesday)

Exams!

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).

Things Med Students and Ninjas Have in Common

I know most of you won’t percieve the connection
so I’m offering this collection as a correction to your misconceptions.

The first point of likeness comes from the uniform,
sure they have different names, but to the uninformed
the difference between scrubs and a ninja costume’s small when
both are pyjamas for professional use, whatever you call them.

Secondary to the strikingly similar outfits
is the fact that both groups carry diverse tool kits
filled with arcane equipment they can use in a fight
(if you disagree, perhaps you’ve never been blinded by penlight)

You know what else is a major part of ninjitsu?
Stabbing people. And maybe you’ve heard of this thing that we do
called IM injection – it’s just stabbing by another name,
one more way in which students and ninjas are actually the same.

Finally, let’s mention the ninja’s main ability –
moving around so as to almost attain invisibility –
but compared to med students confronted with a tough task
their ability to melt away doesn’t even come close to us.

So although no-one’s cooler than ninjas
and med students are mostly just nerdy whingers,
I’m sure this entry will prompt you to re-evaluate
the many other ways in which they actually do relate.

Image from here

And Then I Realised I’m Basically Unrobbable…

So the other day I was looking for my wallet
I couldn’t find it and thought ‘Hey, maybe someone stole it’.
A few days earlier I put it in my bag while riding the bus
and this dodgy looking fellow saw me do it and I think that he must
have picked it out when I had my back turned
to be fair it was my own fault as I really should’ve learned
to observe better security concerning my personal possessions
but let’s move on – that isn’t today’s lesson.

See at first I was upset about it, as most people would be,
then I paused to think about it carefully
and I just couldn’t see why it should be
a concern that my wallet had been taken from me.

First off, I’m a medical student so I don’t have any cash
and the little I do I always make sure to stash
in my pockets so the balance remains steady there,
likewise my cards for ATMs, driving and Medicare.
Even the wallet itself was about ten years old
riddled with holes, starting to culture mould
and in the end, when all’s said and done,
I can’t help but feel the pick-pocket’s the one
who got the real bum end of this deal
I mean, what did he actually manage to steal?

But it got me asking myself on a bigger scale
was it just luck that this robbery failed?
And I’m lead to think maybe it’s not
if I tally up all the tangible possessions I’ve got
the entire lot comes to less than a grand
and understand that most of that’s rather bland
textbooks on obscure points of medicine or pharmacology
and not even I’m nerdy enough to mourn losing texts on biology.

Thus my conclusion that for this brief moment in time
perhaps I’m inadvertently immune to this common crime.
Now all I have to worry about is assault, fraud, kidnaps,
murders, mugging, drugging and other such mishaps 🙂

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