Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Waiting in Exile...

There is nothing worse for a medical student then having time on our hands.

You'd think that we'd enjoy doing absolutely nothing and use the time to sleep. But, heck no! We're freakin' wired like robots to go 24/7.

The only time we sleep is the moment when we crack open a text book. (image from http://socglory.blogspot.com)

Vacations to us are like emotions to that Star Trek's android Data... we have no idea whatsoever to do with them.

To many medical students, vacations are scarier than The Shining movie: "What?! We don't have to study for tests?! Nooooo!" It's like we become like pariahs. Other medical students run from us as if we're lepers about to drop a toe on them.

And we get the awkward phone calls from our med school buddies. "What? You're not on rotations?" The other end goes silent as if they're expecting the Psycho theme song to emanate from their cell phone. Then the conversation ends quickly with a "Uhhh... hey, man I got to go," as if they're trying to crawl the walls to get away from talking about vacations.

Medical students are an odd bunch, and I can say that without bias because I am one. I gave up normalcy when I got my acceptance letter. It should have been in the fine print: warning, attendance here may turn you into someone who talks about eating while cutting open dead bodies and whom says, "cool" when the grossest diseases are presented to you.

As medical students, we live an odd lifestyle. We eat, sleep, and drink medicine. Our social life consists of our medical textbooks and talking about tests.

We like getting no sleep, not exercising, getting fat, becoming overstressed, and ingesting insidious amounts of sugar, top ramen, and caffeine just to become better health professionals for you. (Image from www.zazzle.com.)

As for you our patients, we nag you about being healthy. As for ourselves, that's a different story. We believe that physicians are super humans that can live off sticks and excessive amounts of caffeine. Oh, and doctors don't get sick--except while on pediatric rotations: those are our Kryptonite. One pediatrics experience can take down the most powerful of all physicians faster than a speeding bullet. Our enemy: children, the adorable little out-break monkies. (Note: I love pediatrics and kids.)

There's a cosmic law out there that states during the exam block weeks that we affectionately call "Hell Weeks" --that's an endearing designation of love if you hadn't already guessed -- medical students must refuse to bathe the entire seven days. It's initiation. No personal hygiene allowed while taking tests. Bathing is vorboten!

Yeah, you can only imagine the smell of more than 300 medical students at a single school with humming armpits and having been eating only bean burritos and noodles all night long. Let's just say that Professors own gas masks.

If a student walks in dressed nice, makeup done, and smelling like a poached lily during block week, the Bugler starts the funeral march, "Ich hatt einen Kameraden," and offers them the Final Salute. (Images of club and stressed students from www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=314121)

I know that all too well when the coffee-blooded zombies that were once my classmates hissed at me every block week because I just had to look like a sparkling, prissy chic when taking exams. It was my good luck ritual: there's was snarfing down keggers of Starbucks. Everyone had their "good luck charms." Some people wore their lucky underwear; I chose to Tyra Banks myself.

Then again, I'm not your average med student. I kind of got the Legally Blond motif going for me.

So here I am, in exile from rotations during the holiday break. Soon, I start my next rotation in Intensive Care---which doesn't get it's name of "intensive" for nothing--- and yet, I've got vacation-cabin-fever and can't wait to be back in the hospital to work the long hours and back breaking shifts.

Enjoy your vacations, eat right, and change your underwear. Words to live by.


P.S. This is my relaxing blog about my medical school and soon-to-be Internship experiences.

I also have another blog at disastermedicine-christine.blogspot.com. It is an educational blog dedicated to wilderness and disaster medicine.

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