Monday, September 22, 2008

Kevin and David are not good at diagnosing

Most of you guys probably know this, but in the second year of medical school the curriculum takes a much more clinical turn. For every physiological fact we learn, we learn 3 things that can go awry with the body Xenu has blessed us with. This newly acquired knowledge has given us great diagnosing power. And with great power comes great responsibility… responsibility David and I have not exercised well.

It’s a common saying that when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras. The main point is to steer diagnosticians towards the most probable diagnosis, however mundane, rather than the flashiest. To that I say “no thanks.” After all, House didn’t become a network hit by diagnosing tennis elbow and the common cold. In order to keep my diagnosing mind sharp, I’m always diagnosing my friends, classmates, strangers, the hobo that lives outside Julia’s window, etc etc. Unfortunately our batting average in this zebra clubbing contest is sitting at a paltry .166, well below the Mendoza line. Anyways, to better illustrate my point, I've created a little table of all the misdiagnoses we've made so far.

Can I think of this instead?

What we observed

Our differential diagnosis

What it really was / most likely is

1. Bloodshot eyes

2. Excessive desire to eat

1. Cicatrical pemphigoid

With comordibity of:

1. Pica

Riding the Pineapple Express

1. Wrinkles

2. Brittle bones

3. Liver spots

4. Hair loss

5. Member of our class

1. Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome

John S. (apparently he's just really old)

1. Dozing off in class

1. Narcolepsy

2. Myasthenia Gravis

Boring lecture

1. High blood pressure

1. Pheochromocytoma

Too much beef stew

1. Lack of verbal impulse control

2. Erratic class attendance

3. Severe paranoia

1. Schizophrenia


1. Asian guy with a cough


2. Bird Flu

Both SARS and Bird Flu


SuperBadJack said...

Scientology, ZING!

the "other" roommate said...

haha i like this!!

Jesse said...

In my defense, my attendance is only erratic so that I can avoid Boring Lecture Syndrome.

Dragonfly said...

Thats hilarious.

D said...

Too much beef stew isn't a hypertensive etiology, it's the dream...

K said...

does that mean hypertension is the dream as well?

John said...

I would have responded angrily earlier but I had to get the neighbor kid to show me how to use the interwebs. Get off my lawn.

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