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My sister's sense of medical humor

My sister, as most of you have realized by now, drives me nuts. She has her moments though, one of the things I most appreciate about her is her sense of humor. She's currently in the first year of medicine (her year is called Med I) and writes for the local medical student's publication.

She wrote this article that had me rolling in stitches on the floor, and she gave me permission to put it on my site. While the humor is there, it's a little bit specific to my sister's education, so my explanatory comments will be in italics.

First-Year Medical Students Discover 13th Cranial Nerve (Note that there are only 12 cranial nerves)
An exciting new finding has been made at our very own University of Saskatchewan medical college. Cranial nerve thirteen, or the pedoglossal cranial nerve (pedo means foot and glossal means tongue), was recently discovered collectively by the entire first-year class at the medical school. “This will catapult the U of S into stardom,” replies Peter MacKinnon, president of the University of Saskatchewan. “Who knows what other nerves are unraveling because of ground-breaking medical research. This gives credence to my earlier, fantastic statement: diversity is the strength of our university, but selectivity is the key.”

Informally dubbed the “dumb-ass remark” cranial nerve, students and instructors were almost immediately able to identify its function. Fibres seem to extend into every part of the neocortex and are especially able to influence speech. Thought to play an important role in both oral and written forms of communication, the pedoglossal nerve seems to contain mostly excitatory pathways, which are activated during low periods of higher cortical function. Pedoglossal actually appears to suppress higher functioning, but usually requires a trigger, which typically involves the limbic system. A suggested model for its activation is that difficult problem-solving task fibres are initially recruited, but appear to halt or pause for various reasons, mainly ignorance. This causes an emotional response (usually panic), which gives pedoglossal its chance to kick in and run amok.

While pedoglossal does seem to be present in most people, risk factors such as high egos and low knowledge levels tend to make it more active. This puts medical students at the top of the high-risk category for dumb-ass remarks. “I’ve heard it all before,“ replies Dr. Greg Malin, a teaching fellow at the college. “For years we’ve been searching for clues to explain this phenomenon. Now the class of 2008 has finally nailed the answer,” states Dr. Malin fondly and with pride. Marcel D’Eon, a professor at the medical school, is also quite excited by the discovery. “Now maybe my students will take my decision trees more seriously (my sister had gone on and on about how horrible this one class was... the professor was obsessed with the idea that every single decision they made should be done with a decision tree... she constantly makes fun of him). Knowing that my materials could save medical student egos for generations to come, I’ll finally be able to obtain more class time!”

Professors aren’t the only ones crying with joy and laughter. A first-year student and neurosurgery hopeful, Dan McNoodle, (apparently this is a parody of someone with the last name McDoodle who already know what residency he wants - that's apparently quite rare) replies, ”I plan on taking this research all the way to secure my residency spot.”

However, not everyone is giddy with excitement. Dr.McKague, another instructor and family physician at the college, expresses her concern for the students’ well being, “With those OSCE’s coming up, I hope students are able to alleviate some anxiety knowing that examiners fully expect the nerve to be firing at full force.”

Preliminary research is already underway to combat the effects of pedoglossal. Oddly enough a strange, mysterious phenomenon known as “studying” seems to directly impact the excitatory synapses, blocking the nerve’s ability to fire altogether. More research is definitely needed in this area.

For further information regarding research possibilities, please contact Dr. Adel Mohammed at the College of Medicine with a fax or e-mail header: "Research Regarding Cranial Nerve 13".

Beatrix Stye
Med Eye


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 8th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
dumb ass nerve.......must be a joke.
May. 9th, 2005 05:41 pm (UTC)
LoL, Oh I'm sure yours has fired on more than a few occasions :P
May. 9th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC)
This is sooooooo funny! Kudos to your sister, who appears to be a gifted humour writer (aqueous and/or vitreous) as well as a medical student. This took me back to the days when we were learning the cranial nerves in medic school. Good form!
May. 9th, 2005 05:41 pm (UTC)
Hehe, I know, I'm just so proud of her! Writing that stuff takes talent!

She told me it only took her about an hour to write too!
May. 9th, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC)
I was waiting for this for so long then got completely distracted and forgot to tell you how amused i was. My bad, forgive moi? <3<3
May. 9th, 2005 05:42 pm (UTC)
LoL I noticed you were a bit distracted ;)

<3 <3
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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