Micro midterm on Monday at Metropolis Med

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.


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.

1 From my cold, dead hands, Metropolis.  From my cold, dead hands.
2 “Um… crap.  Because… fever?  Look, he’s on heroin – he’s not going to mind if we just treat him for endocarditis anyway.”

9 thoughts on “Micro midterm on Monday at Metropolis Med

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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”

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

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