Saturday, April 13, 2013

Between him and me

A medical student checking blood pressure usin...
A medical student checking blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer and stethoscope. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
mystic muses: The dummy medical student’s guide to the medical viva exam


Thanks +Feroze Kaliyadan for sharing the tricks of the trade! Here are few real life stories narrated in first person, though I am not the hero in all ;)

Our Anatomy department gave us strict instructions not to follow BD Chaurasia’s Human Anatomy textbook (since it was concise and sweet) and to use Grey’s Anatomy always. [For those non-medicos out there, Grey’s anatomy is a big fat book, that is good for weight lifting (watching the colourful pictures of chiselled pectorals). Reading it especially in the first year of your medical education will strip your life of all its colour (making it Grey)!]

During the first internal viva exam, the examiner asked me whether I refer any book other than Grey’s. Without thinking, I said Yes.
Which one? The examiner asked.
Then only I realised the trap. I knew the names of Grey’s and Chaurasia only!
Procter and Gamble sir, I replied confidently.
The examiner seemed satisfied. I am sure he went to the library afterwards to hunt for the new anatomy book authored by Procter and Gamble.

My friend and senior Bobby (Award winning scriptwriter of the Bobby-Sanjay duo) has portrayed a patient who helps the examinees by telling them the positive findings that they should not miss in him. (Salim Kumar in Ayalum Njanum Thammil). I have seen “Dermatology PG exam veteran” patients who would tell you his enlarged nerves and the diagnosis. Since I could speak Malayalam and Kannada, I was the official translator during the dermatology PG exam for all my seniors from the north. Needless to say, I had to know all the relevant history and the examination findings and the translation would actually be a dictation. But my additional efforts were always well compensated by the Post-Exam ‘daru’.