Last night, some friends and I went through about 100 practice problems together, arguing about whether we’d really want to use rifampin in a TB pregnancy (we would), whether the lecturer actually went over that (she did), and whether the DSM-V should include a Highlighter Abuse diagnosis for me personally (general verdict: “for the love of god, you have three different shades of orange“)1.
We do this before every major test, but last night was shocking – we knew every question. We were rockstars. We were unstoppable. Of course the heroin user coming in with those symptoms has right-sided infective endocarditis! Hell, we knew it before we even heard about that murmur. Most likely Staph aureus, so just start the amp + gent already, or sub in vanc if he’s allergic – slow infusion, of course.
Also, nurse, bring us more pizza. OUR HOTSHOT BRILLIANCE REQUIRES ANOTHER PIZZA.
The self-congratulatory mood was somewhat broken when someone asked how we knew the heroin user didn’t just, you know, overdose.2
It’s funny how last semester, it seemed like every 3rd entry I wrote was about how we knew absolutely nothing. And now, if a family member called me to ask about, say, a bad cough – instead of emphasizing my lack of any experience whatsoever, I’d be tempted to do what everyone else does now: ask a lot of questions, get a half-assed differential, and make an armchair prediction before telling them to see their doctor.
Luckily for my family, my mom’s a nurse – so nobody’s going to need to ask me any medical questions for a very long time. My half-assed differential skills will have to wait.
In summary, it’s a little stunning to realize that in just the past month, we’ve gone from knowing “absolutely nothing” to simply knowing “nothing” – all due to our extensive experience in managing fake patients with textbook infections.
It’s the little things in life.
I bought my highlighters at Costco, by the case. But I only used yellow.
I still have one in my desk jar, long dried out, leftover from med school. I guess it’s a sort of talisman.
I have never owned a highlighter. I’ve always found that I needed to write things which were significant, so I tend to make outlines or write explanations in the margins. I wonder if this habit will have to change in medical school.
Highlighter addict as well (and imported Japanese pens too–hey so WHAT if they cost 4$ per pen, they are my TOOLS that I WORK with right now!)
I blamed the multicolored penchant on being an adult learner. Now I see will have to reconsider my excuse…
I recently became a highlighter convert myself, after staunchly refusing to do so throughout all of undergrad.
My lighter of choice is a gaudy pink. At least it helps keep straight which journal articles are mine 🙂
Highlighters totally rule. End.
Everyone I know currently has the death crud – some kind of pneumonia or weird virus only babies get but somehow have infiltrated my med school class. My non-med friends will tell me they’re sick and it goes something like this:
me – “do you have a fever?”
friend – “yeah, this morning.”
me – “are your lips blueish?”
friend – “uh… no, wouldn’t that mean I was dead?”
me – “oh, well or just hypoxic… go to the doctor”
Haha, that’s so true.
Guys, I am so glad to hear that I’m not alone in my addiction.
I never used highlighters before my junior year of undergrad, when I had like 4 grad-level bio classes and realized that rewriting notes for each one was not going to happen.
I do suspect that the phrase, “… AP? Wait, who’s she again? OH, Highlighter Girl! Of course!” comes up in conversation around here occasionally.
I’m more of a multi-coloured biro kind of gal. You know, one pen, eight colours? HOTT
Just found out I failed half my micromidterm type thing. Urgh. Although it is the kick up the arse I needed for not revising.
Where can I purchase a work ethic?