Wednesday, November 20, 2013

the alternative guide to passing


So I just passed the ACEM fellowship exam.  Woo hoo!!

Some people say you need to read Tintinalli three times cover-to-cover to pass the exam.  This is not true.  Here's what you actually should do:

1. Choose a really great study partner, with a good sense of humour and no OCD tendencies.

2. Go to Bikram yoga at least once a week. In Bikram you are basically allowed to sigh heavily for 90 minutes.

3. Surprise even yourself at how much chocolate you can eat.   When a snickers bar becomes an acceptable alternative to an actual meal, you've hit the mark.

4. Read Young Adult Fiction.  Trust me on this.  Engaging narratives, short novels and conflicts that are less stressful to the adult reader.

5. Learn that there is more to life than the exam each time you try to explain it to your non-medical friends.  ("I passed the exam!!!!"  [pause]  "Exam???")

6. Watch Dirty Dancing 3 times in the fortnight before the clinical exam.

7. Run back to the hotel between sections of the clinical exam to cram another couple of episodes of Seachange.

8. After it's all done, improve your fitness using Tintinalli as a kettle-bell.



Sunday, November 17, 2013

superheroes

Yesterday when I went to Cibi there was a small child, maybe 12 months old, trapped in her parents car. Apparently she pushed the 'lock' button at precisely the moment that her mother dropped the car keys in the car and shut the door.

By the time I arrive the girl had realised she was trapped and was crying for her parents, face pushed up to the window.  Her parents were outside the car, trying to coax her into pushing the 'unlock' button.  'Beep beep!  Push the beep beep!'.  Unfortunately she kept going for the wrong beep beep.

One of the guys from Cibi managed to open the car with a coat hanger.  I was very impressed.  He said, "I feel like superman!"

This reminded me of how satisfying it is to remove an object stuck in a child's nose or ear.  I feel like a magician extracting the bead/M&M/mung bean…ta-dah!!  The parents are always so grateful.

It's strange how much more satisfying this is than the other more difficult tasks I have to do each day, like diagnosing chest pain or treating sepsis.