March 25, 2010

New Languages

One of our pathology professors today told us that medical school is like learning 2-3 new languages. I would say that's a lot of Greek, a lot of Latin, along with some more surprising vocabulary:
war terminology (invade, protect, quarantine),
all the titles and rankings (resident, attending, MS2, fellow, tech, charge nurse, NP, PA, chief resident)
colloquialisms ("they pimped me on my peds rotation"...excuse me?),
and abbreviations ("just get the ALT, AST, and CBC before we tell him that his RUQ pain is from his CBD").

They tell us to try as hard as we can to remember how to talk to other people in normal ways. I can feel it slipping away already as I try to make sure all the new information stays in...

But the good news is, now when we have a 9 hour day where we learn 400 new enzymes and pathways and 67 new disorders, I don't get overwhelmed and think, "OH NO, we'll never learn this!" - instead I say, "how crazy cool that soon we'll know all of that".

Learning the language of medicine is pretty awesome.

"Symptoms are the body's mother tongue; signs are in a foreign language."
-John Brown, MD

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