May 26, 2008

It even has my skin tone.

I am a medical student. A big, bad learning machine. Well adapted to its environment, with skills honed at survival. That is, until the end of the year workload comes, and bites my fucking head off.

***This post in tribute to the infectious disease block we are currently slogging through, aka "101 things you do not want growing in your body" aka "I am never traveling to anywhere outside of my apartment again"
***This post also in tribute to the 5000 visitor milestone I just passed. That's cool. So are people who visit this lame blog.
***This post also in tribute to the 4 other posts I have started but not finished. I look forward to the day when I have sufficient motivation to finish them. That day is June 14th, or the mythical "summer vacation" I have heard about but lost hope in long ago.

May 13, 2008

Super Hyphy

So we just started our micro/infectious disease block, and blew through all the fungal infections in 3 lecture hours. Which included such vividly lovely descriptors such as "grainy exudate," "cauliflower-like," and "versicolor lesions."

These lectures are mind-numbingly boring, especially right after an exam. Yet, even in my fungally induced coma, I noticed there seemed to be an unwritten law amongst mycologists. For every disease of the fungus, thou must havest four slides:

Firsteth, thou must haveth a slide that talks about how common this fungal infection is and how important it is that you learn it. (BS)

Secondly, thou must haveth a slide showing a highly advanced form of the fungal infection in attempts to gross out the students. (BS)

Thirdly, thou must haveth a slide talking about Amphotericin B. Complete with requisite "Amphoterrible" joke. And a tiny aside about the azoles and how they are actually the mainstay of treatment. (Not really BS, but redundant)

And fourthly, thou must haveth a slide showing a KOH prep or biopsy slide. (see right)

Now along with every microscopy slide must come the following remark: "If you were a good mycologist, you could differentiate the species based on this slide." There are two things wrong with this statement (I'm big into lists today). One, I am not a good mycologist. Two, I have no desire to ever become a good mycologist. In fact, the odds of even one person from our class of 126 becoming a "good mycologist" are well below .500.

But I digress. Maybe we should be more appreciative of our mycologists. After all, when it comes to deadly systemic fungal infections, there isn't mushroom for error


I'm sorry that was in spore taste.

May 10, 2008


I'd like to thank Dr. Loriaux and The Follies for a roasting good time last night. It was a lot of fun. And I want to assure my readers, no worries. This blog will always include 100% melodramatics and 100% douchebaggery. I accept no substitutes.

May 2, 2008

The First Mailbag

Well, this post was supposed to be a mailbag responding to questions for me posed by you, the reader. But since my readers seem to be the creepy type of people who like to watch me and not interact at all (Editors Note: I now know the reason behind this, and think that people missed out on a prime opportunity to bait me into embarrassing questions. I think my anonymous readers are now my favorites), I did a little work and fabricated my own mailbag, gleaned from questions that have popped up in the comments the past 9 months.

"On your surgery rotation, you should, at least once, do a perfect imitation of The Todd from Scrubs."

This is a moment I have dreamed of for a long time, namely because it combines three of my favorite activities, namely: (1) being rediculous (2) wearing scrubs (3) fake tattoos. I will sacrifice 1000 pre-meds before my surgery rotation so that I may draw a cool enough resident to let me do this my 3rd year.

Speaking along those lines, and this is too good to make up, but there is a general surgery resident at our university hospital who wears sleeveless scrubs. Which makes me wonder... can you even BUY sleeveless scrubs? The almighty google says no, which means this resident had to have made his own. At what point did he think this was a good idea? Surely he had to have had a moment before he first put scissors-to-scrubs where he thought "is this fashion forward?" Knowing my luck, I'll probably have to work with this resident during my surgery rotation. Then again, that would give me a prime opportunity to take my Todd impression to the next level. After all, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

"Wow this looks really hard. how do you do it?"

I was going to type out this elaborate response talking about inner strength and resolve and seperating the wheat from the chaff, then I realized that I'd be bullshitting not only you but myself. It's nothing even nearly like that.

You ever watch Fear Factor? Those people do some CRAZY stuff, and they do it all for money. I mean, 95 out of 100 contestants would tell the show host to eff off if they didn't have that money prize to make them compete (note: there's always one person a season I believe has a certifiable psychological disorder and would do it even if the prize was belly button lint). Well, med school is a lot like that. We have this nice enticing prize at the end (doctorhood) and as a result we reduce ourselves to the intellectual equivalent of eating cave spiders, showering in calves blood, and massaging alligator testicles (and, ironically, these comparisons are not that far off of REAL actual experiences we have in medical school!) I think that's what it comes down to... the delayed gratification. Though I guarantee you there's at least one person in my class who is that one crazy person who would do it anyways.

"Wow. That's a lot of drugs. What are your classmates like?"

Now this is a dangerous question, because I know some of my classmates read this blog (788 hits from the Portland metro area. I may check my blog a lot, but I'm not obsessive-compulsive). But there's no way I'd bad mouth my classmates anyways, since they are all great people. But I think one specific scene helps to epitomize the dynamics of my class to a T.

We had a prom. Yes, a med school prom, at a local Irish pub (yes Kells!) which I frequented perhaps a little too much over the summer. At one point, I was standing on the side, watching the dance floor (yes, closet wallflower here) and realized exactly what the scene struck me as. It was a perfect mix of a 6th grade Catholic school dance and and a thirsty thursday dollar beer night down at the local bar. There was this crazy tension between the social awkwardness and the alcohol-induced social lubrication. And one of the most hilarious dance circles I've ever seen in my life. So that's my class, a bunch of drunk 12 year olds.

As a side note, I knew the bartender who was serving drinks at the event and was talking to him for a bit. At one point, he made the observation "you sure are here a lot more than any of your classmates." Yup, that's me. Not just a drunk 12 year old, the drunk 12 year old who's a regular at the down at the local irish pub.

"What happened to you?? have you fallen into the black hole of med school?? no new blog in almost 2 weeks! What's the deal?"

My weeks long absences from posting can be attributed to one of three reasons. First, med school is incredibly busy. 90% of the time, you feel behind on the material, and your schedule is so regimented and scheduled out that when the time comes for me to have "me time" it's midnight, and I have to be up in 6 hours. Especially if you even attempt to do other medically-related things outside of lecture like go to talks or shadow on the wards or in clinic. Second, med school breeds apathy. The times I do have some free evenings, I have an overwhelming urge to do crap like watch trashy reality television or drink a beer or log on to facebook for the 15th time that day. Third, med school sucks every bit of creativity out of my soul. When your life consists of memorizing boatloads of uninteresting facts and enzymes, your brain shifts into this robotic analytical state where things like "humor" are so counter-intuitive that I feel like it would be plain cruel to expose people to the thoughts going through my brain the majority of the time. Trust me, you don't want to hear lame jokes about lame proteins as much as I don't want to type them.

"what's new?"

My shoes are new. I bought them online a couple weeks ago. That is the newest thing in my life. Well, besides the milk in my refrigerator.