Sunday, April 22, 2012

Elitism and Throwing Stuff

There is something of an elitish, don't-mix-my-vernacular-with-your-plebian-tones attitude among medical professionals. To a point I understand this. An ear ache to a lay person is only an ear ache, but to a doctor it could be trauma, infectious, referred, or made up and differentiating between acute otitis media and ruptured tympanic membrane is important.
  • Ear pain/otalgia normal drum, Earache, Earaches after flying, External Ear Pain, Referred ear Pain Otalgia, Presentation/Tender swollen Pinna Nose Larynx, Ear trauma, Ear Pinna ulcer, Pain/temple area, Pain pre-auricular area, Painful submandibular gland, Pain/swelling Zygoma/arch area, Pain in lower jaw with exercise, Painful submaxillary salivary gland, Ear drum rupture/tear/laceration, acute
However, this has been carried to an extreme is some cases (in my lowly first-year opinion.) I was studying this week trying to memorize the mechanism of action of the 114th drug and ran across this confusing sentence. It was late and I was tired and spent longer than I should have trying to figure out what it was saying.

"Insulin/IGF-1 decreased signalling promotes increased stress resistance and lifespan."

Couldn't you have said it in a easier way? How about, "Less insulin and IGF-1 signalling leads to less stress and longer life?" I know the author probably has credentials and a reputation to manage, but he should know that the only person to ever read that sentence is going to be a very tired, very discouraged medical student near then end of a very long chapter.

Absence Seizure

This one really gets me for some reason. Most of you probably pronounce the word absence the way the dictionary directs - [ab-suhns] with the accent on the first syllable and a neutral vowel on the second. Doctors, however, talking about seizures don't want to sully their pronunciation with the peasant's. No, they pronounce it [ab-sahns] as in Renaissance. Perhaps there is more to the story of seizures. For all I know, the guy who classified them was French. 

Artery of Adamkiewicz

"We honor the generations of physicians who went before us by attaching their names to the contributions they made to medicine. How else would we be able to pimp medical students?" Names generally refers to function or position: posterior cerebral artery supplies the posterior portion of the cerebrum, anterior inferior cerebellar artery supplies the anterior inferior portion of the cerebellum, etc. 

To combat elitism, I propose a course called Throwing Stuff ought to be mandatory in medical school.

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