One of the most important skills one acquires in medical school is the ability to synthesize endless amounts of information and develop useful frameworks with which to organize and understand seemingly disparate concepts. In Microbiology, we learn about myriad bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other baddies ad nauseum, and depend on a variety of such strategies in order to make sense of what sometimes feels like an insurmountable mountain of minutiae.
Looking for high-yield study tips? You've clearly come to the wrong place. Instead, here, in no particular order, are five important things I've learned in Micro so far:
5) Not all fungi are fun.
This pearl of wisdom is from Kevin. They can't all be winners...
4) It's time to page Dr. Robot.
So far, it seems like a computer would be as good or better at diagnosing all of the diseases we've studied. Sure, there are subtleties about each, but for the most part we're focusing on things that approximate a complicated checklist (Fever? Y/N. Burning while you pee? Y/N. Excessive play with turtles? Y/N).
Clearly, the next step is to invent Dr. Robot. One probe in the mouth, another down south, and a way to input the patient's responses to a series of questions that help the robot pinpoint the disease. You could even put a little white coat on him and give him some outstretched arms so people know he cares. (Alternatively, we could just find a human physician named Robot who's a whiz at ID. As long as someone's called Dr. Robot, I'm happy.)
3)Noah should have raised admissions requirements for the Ark.
After God told him to pack up the boat, perhaps Noah should have been a bit more selective about which animals made the cut. He really couldn't find two rabbits without Francisella or a couple flying squirrels that were disease free? He couldn't spare five minutes for a quick delousing effort? Pretty lazy, Noah, even for you.
If animal cleaning wasn't Noah's bag, at least he could've sealed the ship before the syph hopped on board. Nobody wins when genital lesions are involved.
2) There already is a Kevin* Disease (with a twist).
Apparently, a Kevin* Disease already exists. Yet instead of one that Kevin discovers and names after himself in order to watch his viral namesake wreak havoc across the third world, this is a bug seemingly tailor-made to infect Kevin. Perhaps we could call it Bizarro Kevin* Disease? BK*D is actually Bacillus cereus , a bacterium sometimes found in poorly heated fried rice. Tragically, his greatest friend has become his deadliest foe.
Now, every time Kevin uses the microwave, he's walking a tightrope walk of death, through a ring of fire, over a pool of sharks with laser beams mounted to their heads and dogs on their backs that shoot bees out of their mouths with each bark. His life has devolved into a terrifying game of Chopstick Roulette.
1) The vagina is an extremely dangerous place.
Contrary to popular belief, what may seem like a bed of daisies and kittens can actually be a raging cesspool of microbiological evil. Every bug and its brother kicks it in the vagina. Want more evidence? Look at all the bad times that befall neonates. What more would you expect from something that has to bust through this danger zone to make it to freedom?