Monday, June 15, 2009

These Exams Are Killing Me (In More Ways Than One)

Some day, I will figure out the secret of not whining about how medicos have exams all the time. That will be the day I get a certificate saying that Dr. Adorable Pancreas is now a real doctor and look, she has a D.M. to prove it. Since you need an M.D. before getting a D.M., and they do not hand out M.D's to people who are not even M.B.,B.S. doctors, you will have to wait for about a decade for that.


The last few days have been very difficult. I have not seen my Dad in more than 365 days. At any rate, not in the flesh. He must miss me at least as much as I miss him, because every other day, we get together in my dreams to argue, and have Mom intervene only to have us both toss her out and continue to yell at each other. Just like old times.

The practical exams have started. These are just like the finals, only all the examiners are our own teachers.

For those of you who have not been following me on Twitter, this is what happened to me on my Ob-G exam. (Was that too obvious? Nah, subtlety is my middle name.)

Oh, remember Ob-G? My favourite subject? The blood and amniotic fluid fest? The sleepless nights in the labour room? Well, they conducted an exam. I get two patients, one pregnant (Ob), one *gasp* not pregnant (Gyn).

(If I had to see that, so did you. You are welcome. And I am guessing he really is pregnant. Dr. Google said so.)

I was getting the pregnant patient's history. You know, whether she had any bleeding (blood) or leaking (amniotic fluid), whether she drinks like a fish or smokes like a chimney, whether her grandfather had ingrowing toenails or not, the usual stuff. After a while, I noticed that she was acting oddly. She winced every time I asked her a question! Now, normally, people wince after I answer their questions, so I found this behaviour quite unusual.

Well, folks, on questioning her, she had these 'tummy aches that appeared on and off every few minutes' which was probably 'her breakfast, it tasted funny' and it was 'nothing'. Long story short, she was in labour, getting regular contractions. We packed her off to the labour room. And to all those smart alecks who might accuse me of worrying her to the point that she went into labour, she had had the pain for a few hours already, but 'the idli worsened it'. I do not blame her for that, those idlis are potent. It's our secret weapon which we will unleash on an unsuspecting enemy in the next war.

The Gyn patient, she was fun. She was admitted in a Gynaecology ward for 'aching knees'. Her friendly neighbourhood doctor had ordered an abdominal scan (WHY?) when she showed him her knee, and found a fibroid in her uterus. Don't try to make sense of this, I merely made up her history from scratch. Because that is the kind of amazing brain I have.

During my case presentation, I mentioned in passing that the patient's breasts and thyroid gland were normal, and the examiner grilled for an hour about the 'causes of galactorrhoea in pregnancy'. This is pretty technical, so I will not bore you with the details, but she got me to establish that milk secretion during pregnancy can even kill the foetus. Yes, it sounded absurd to me, too, but it's true.

We have to identify surgical specimens pickled in glass bottles, just like the good ol' days in Pathology. I was the lucky recipent of a specimen I had never before seen in a human being. Small wonder, because it was an inverted uterus.

I am pretty sure that the Universe hates me. Well, it has plenty of ammo left, the exams are not yet done with me.


Drwiz said...

I remember when one of my friend asked a male patient "Muttu Novudeya?" n the patient started giving weird looks to him.

"Muttu" in Kannda means Menustration, "Novudeya" means is it paining? My friend actually meant if his knees (Muttu = knee/elbow in Malayalam) are paining.

Lucky that he didn't get beaten up :)

Gauri said...

Here's wishing you much luck AP - with the rest of the exams.

Hang in there .... and yeah - do keep writing :)

Somebody Else said...

Gosh! This will make sure I stop cribbing about "my exams"...

...for two days.
Yeah, we may not encounter women in labour during our exams but they're still a pain(the exams).
(The joke died before it happened! Phew!)

the story teller said...

nice picture didnt read the article

†J said...

Even we practice that very often.The-construction-of-a-history-from-the-scratch. :-D

Many a times, we leave out the original complaints of the patient, if she has a disease that we are 'better-versed' at, and present her as a case of that disease.
The patient gets so irritated,since we are no ways interested in the present problems she is having, that we are later shooed off. Or the patient just vanishes. :-D
And our work's done. as we label her as, "An un-co-operative patient" !!
;-) ha ha

Ketan said...

Inverted uterus?

I hope you didn't mean procidentia!

Well written, again!