Experiences of a med student with an incurable travel bug.

Archive for the ‘Medical School’ Category

Tips for Third Year

As I start my third year rotations in a few days, I thought I’d share some wisdom from Cartoon Doc for surviving the coming year. Here we go!


Abortion Saved My Life

Oh, did that get your attention?


Now go read this. It’s short, but here’s a quick synopsis: A mother of two experienced a difficult pregnancy but attempted to carry to term despite the risks. At 20 weeks she began hemorrhaging, and was virtually left to die in her hospital room because the physician on call refused to do abortions and failed to contact a doctor who would and could — this despite the fact that the fetus was not viable, that it was already dying. Fortunately, a nurse risked her job and contacted a different doctor who was able to save this woman’s life.

Abortion is a medical procedure necessary for adequate women’s healthcare. This story is just one of the many real reasons women get abortions, reasons that we have no right to judge when it is anyone’s body but our own. This woman would have died without the abortion of her already dying fetus. I fail to see the logic in how it makes more sense to let a woman die, leaving her two children motherless and her husband a widow, than to remove fetus that was going to die anyway. To be clear, I do not think this is the only acceptable situation in which women should have abortion access — it’s just one that highlights exactly why not having abortion access is so extremely problematic.

No, I have not been saved by an abortion. But I could be. Or maybe it will be you. Or your sister. Your significant other, mother, daughter, or friend. God forbid you ever be in that situation, don’t you think you’d want the doctor to save your/her life?

I thought so.

Valentine’s Limericks

I generally have no use for the overly-commercialized card-and-candy holiday of forced affection, but last week I caved to Valentine-writing frenzy. The following limericks/poems are the product of too much fondue and craft supplies; I blame it on the glue. These are mostly my creations, though credit goes out to a few other dirty minds for helping to polish them off. If you’re easily offended/disgusted, I suggest that you stop reading now. If you find humor in lewd, crude nonsense, read on!

I Love Your…Mind

You cheer me up when things are shitty
Because your mind is just so witty.
It’s stuck in the gutter
So I know you won’t shudder
When I say that I just love your titties!


S & M

Sometimes our lives can be rough
But soon you will meet someone buff
Now do not fret,
You’ll get very wet
And spend all your time in handcuffs!



You knocked all the air out my lung
It is to my soul you have sung
My breath it gets caught
And my pants get so taut
It is all because you’re so hung.


Neural I Need

Your PNS makes me excited
Your hypoglossal keeps me delighted
I hope that it’s mutual, not just ipsi
Or we’ll have to go out and get tipsy.


Spreading the Love

You know I could not love you more
Even though you can be such a whore
Rest assured that the lesions
Will pass with the seasons
And your core will no longer be sore.

The Magic of Chicken Soup

Turns out that chicken noodle soup is more than just comfort food — it not only makes you feel better, it can actually help you get better! It’s intuitive that it can help you with hydration (after all it is mostly water) and the steam can do wonders for your feelings of congestion. However, apparently some anti-histamine is generated from boiling the chicken, which means it’s really an all-natural form of your cold meds! And don’t worry, you get the same benefit* from the canned version as you do from mom’s homemade goodness, so all of you (us) on your own can get in on the action.

…This is what I took from my small group on colds and flu. I’m sure this is what’s going to be on the exam. Really. Totally useful.

*Well, the same anti-histamine benefits, that is. As far as taste goes you might not be quite so lucky.

Bloody Sunday

We’ve been back in class for three weeks here at Lakeside Med (a pseudonym, of course, in keeping with my super-pseudo-anonymity for the occasional awry google search), which means it’s high time for a final exam. This first block was hematology, so I’ve been up to my eyeballs in [information about] blood. It turns out that there the blood can do some pretty crazy things, so I thought I’d share some of the more random ones.

Fun Blood Facts:

Running is dangerous! For real. Every time your feet slam onto pavement it’s a micro-trauma that can destroy your red blood cells. This fun little hemolytic event is transient and normal, but I’m going to go ahead and use it to justify the days that I skip spin class.

Kissing can kill you! Actually, it’s hickeys that might do you in: apparently if the bruising is in just the right place – over a major artery – it may induce enough damage to trigger clot formation, which can then dislodge and cause a stroke.

Pregnancy is dangerous! There are all sorts of reasons behind this one, but a few of the hematologic fun facts: the mother can produce ~50 different antibodies that can attack the fetus, leading to red blood cell lysis and possible fetal death; the mother can develop Diffuse Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) which creates lots of small clots throughout her body while simultaneously causing excessive bleeding…and the list goes on.

The more you know!

Sleep Study Fail

t-18 hours until I’m done with finals…at least I haven’t done this yet!

One hour of sleep is better than two hours of studying, right? Too bad she doesn’t study at our library, which comes equipped with comfy chairs, couches, pillows, blankets, and even teddy bears for your nap time!

Yes. Teddy Bears can be found in our med school’s library. I kid you not.

I can’t decide if that’s more amazing/awesome or weird/creepy…

ok, back to my epic kidney disease chart. No naps for me.

Bacterial Soap

Usually the goal of washing your hands is to get the germs off, but now you can buy soap that’s full of the little nasties!

Ok, well, it’s actually just made to look like cultures of some of today’s most popular infectious bugs, including Candida albicans, E. coli, and Salmonella. The perfect gift for your neighborhood med student who just wrote an exam on dozens of these buggers.**

Who wouldn’t want to wash their hands with a glow-in-the-dark rendition of Legionella, one of the bajillion causes of pneumonia?

Brought to you by Etsy.

**Or not. I actually think most of us would not be all that amused by your cleverness in reminding us of all the thousands of reasons we should all be dead. (Really. This stuff is EVERYWHERE, I can’t believe anyone even survives the trip through the birth canal, let alone every day in the environment.)

Bathroom Study Fail

Finals are now upon us, which inevitably leads to some strange behavior as everyone settles into their own panic mode.

…to each their own, I guess. I had to surrender my facebook password to a friend on the other side of the state so that I could quit stalking and start studying, so I’m in no position to judge.

Personal Statement Mad Libs

For the benefit of all of my friends currently applying to med school, and for the amusement of all those who already suffered through the process — Personal Statement Mad Libs!

Thanks and credit goes out to Cartoon Doc for this incredible resource.


A gem from small groups:

Dr. Bagels: “Yes, did you have a question?”

Mr. Friendly: “Oh, no, I was just waving ‘hi’ to Dr. Histo.”

Dr. Bagels: “Well, you guys might not know much medicine but you’ve got good social skills!”