Tag Archives: Medical Terminology

Free Air!

I dedicate my comeback post to the young lady I saw yesterday with chronic, asymptomatic, pneumoperitoneum – for the players at home, that’s free air in the abdomen. She is hoping we’ve given her enough radiation to turn her into the Incredible Hulk in time for Christmas. A girl can dream…

The best semester of med school ever is drawing to a close. With final exams behind me, I launched into my pre-internship term in surgery and loved it. Then two electives, close to home. It’s been fabulous. Not having the pressure of exams and assessments makes learning more enjoyable.

Today was my last day on the wards, the last day I could tell a patient “I’m not a doctor…” – an exhilarating and mildly terrifying thought. Three days on campus next week and then I’m done.

I truly wish I had kept better record of this year. Maybe I’ll do a retrospective during my luxurious six-week holiday – the one that comes between the last day of school and the first day of work. Or maybe I’ll work on my golf swing. As with Miss Incredible Hulk, only time will tell.

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Decisions, Decisions…

I’m overselling this somewhat, as it’s not really a huge decision. Though it could have been. It’s Intern Application time!

In overview for the uninitiated, becoming a registered and fully qualified medical doctor goes a little something like this: Graduate – Intern Year – Resident Year – Registrar (Specialty Training) – X Years Later Qualify as Consultant. Where X is a variable according to chosen specialty training program structure, individual preferences, and clearing of assessment hurdles.

It’s a little more complex than I paint it, but that’s more or less it.

Medical graduates across Australia for the 2013 internship year will exceed the available intern positions. This is exceptionally bad news for our overseas students, who may miss out on a position both here and in their home country. Most states are guaranteeing Australian graduates of the state’s medical schools priority in position allocation, so there is a strong incentive for me to stay in my home state.

The Girl is keen to stay put, in our house, in our home of 3.5 years, in the town we have both grown to love. She’s looking to start a business in the next few months, and we both have great friends here. Our geriatric menagerie is also a factor in any decision to move. We are all happy here.

And so it is that the local hospital network will be my first choice for internship, and being a regional network, the chances are good that I’ll get my first choice. I have no desire whatsoever to go back to the city. The downside is that I’ll be able to do a maximum of only two from five rotations in the hospital here in town, so I’ll spend most of the year commuting. We’re going to practice for that next semester, when I’ll be doing my pre-internship (PRINT) and elective terms at the mothership hospital.

Decision made, all I have to do now is finish filling in the 3,000 pages of application forms… oh yeah and… pass the exams.

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It Depends on Your Definition…

In my ongoing quest to bring the world helpful explanations about medical stuff, mostly the meaning of certain medical terms, I’ve been paying extra special attention to the different classifications of the common symptom of ‘Pain’. Here, for your education and my general catharsis, are excerpts from two memorable consultations I have had during my General Practice placement.

Me: Can you describe the pain?
Mrs Payne: Well, it’s a paining pain.
Me: So… is it like an ache, or a burn? Or maybe a stabbing pain?
Mrs Payne: No, it really is just a paining pain… You know, it just pains.

I know, it’s a paining pain.

Me: So, this pain in your legs, can you describe it for me?
Mrs Akers: Oh, it’s not a pain.
Me: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you said you had a pain in your legs?
Mrs Akers: No, no, it’s not a pain, it’s an ache.

Definitely not a paining pain, then.

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Seek And Ye Shall Find

The search terms which have caused people to find this particular patch of internet are a regular source of amusement to me. Sometimes the search term itself amuses me, and sometimes it amuses me that someone would actually click on the link to this site when it pops up in their results.

So to thank these faithful searchers for the hours of amusement they have provided me, I feel it is incumbent upon me to provide some answers from time to time.

Let’s start with something recent, and I admit, not unreasonable, given that I present myself as providing advice on how not to hit a golf ball.

golf ball not going in the air when hit

Keep hitting it the way you are hitting it. See, I’m qualified to tell you how not to hit it. If you want someone to tell you how to hit it, I’m not the best person to ask. However if I were pressed, I would suggest that you hit it somewhat inferiorly to the current point of impact of club on ball. This should give you some loft.

Loft is such a great word.

in which countries is the term “dad joke” used?

I’m curious as to why you need this information. Is it to be used in planning a travel itinerary? More likely you are employed by a pharmaceutical company and are testing market viability of a new cardiac drug you’re considering naming something like “Dadjokesin”. I will help you regardless: You may add Australia to your list. Of countries, not potential drug names.

cell organelle analogy harry potter

It sounds like something I would know about, but I honestly can’t think of one. If Harry Potter were a Golgi Complex… I think I shall come back to this after exams.

soob medical terminology

This is an important abbreviation, and close to my heart. It is used when writing in patients’ notes to record observations. SOOB stands for “Sitting On Own Bottom”. Sometimes you will also see “SOSEB” which stands for “Sitting On Someone Else’s Bottom”, which is indicative of significant improvement in the patient’s condition.

free air underwear

This is a good idea, but I think I should test the market with t-shirts first.

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Filed under Golf, Med School, Travel, Uncategorized

Medicolinguistics

Part of studying medicine is learning a new language, and part of learning a new language is relating new words and concepts to words or concepts which are already familiar. By considering the constituent parts of new words or expressions, one can often deduce the meaning of the whole. A few translations I am especially pleased with:

Syndesmophyte
A plant growing from a synovial joint, much like a rock orchid.

Galactorrhoea
To be shitting stars.

Carpectomy
A surgical procedure in which goldfish nibble bits off you.

Amaurosis Fugax
A brightly coloured poisonous mushroom.

Lap Collie
A small Lassie-like dog.

And now for your added benefit, here are my explanations of some common medical abbreviations:

Patient SOOB: Patient Sitting On Own Bottom.
PUIT: Pees Upright in Tube.
HSDNM: Heard Something, Does Not Matter.
JVPNR: Jolly, Very Pink, No Reflux.
RTA: Read The Armband (while feeling pulse)

Feel free to let me know of any medical terminology, jargon or abbreviations you would like clarified.

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