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Cram or Die!!!

Posted Feb 24 2012 9:52pm

I wonder how I managed to survive 12 years in medicine without muggingthings up….?


Its THE norm, the basic, most important skill needed to be a doctor– a excellentmemory… for DDXing most importantly!


I have always had this abhorrence for memorizing large tedious lists…  I always cut corners, meaning to come back tothem, but never did.


It’s really a wonder how I survived 12 years of exams and Vivas if I can’tstring half a dozen causes/effects or what not for every known/unknownphenomenon in medicine.


I mean, I knew I had to. I knew it was important. But I have never made mnemonicsfor anything while studying… EVER! Or borrowed any for that matter… exceptmaybe the one for the carpal bones (She Looks Too Pretty, Try To Catch Her!)

And of course the one for the Cranial nerves I picked up from Eric Segal’s ‘Doctors’.


But other than that, I had no system to memorize long winding lists ofthings.


I have this image from early in med school, from the reruns of the show ‘ER’depicting the character Dr.  PeterBenton, a driven surgeon, waking at 4 am in the morning and running thetreadmill, simultaneously enumerating causes and stuff for things.


That image more than anything drove home the fact that any reasonable,self-respecting doctor should have at least a dozen DDx for any given conditionat the tips of their tongues.


But I never could. Memorizing stuff the most tedious thing anyone couldhave asked me to do.

Give me complicated theories and mechanisms and physiologic-pathologicexplanations anytime and I could go into the arcane details  of such things.


But a long boring list of disjoint items.. Never!!


Looking back, I don’t know how I survived.


But looks like fate has caught up with me finally.

The Practical exam I need to clear to get DNB certified, is exclusivelybased on the principle of commit and vomit…

You need to have darn sharp memory and reproducibility skills if you wantto make the cut!


What the hell am I gonna do?


Maybe its time to thinks of a career change!!

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