Your body as a cheat sheet

I often get ideas for comics a la Dr. Fizzy’s but I can’t draw at all. Alright, you don’t need to be good at drawing to make nice comics, but creating a comic does require that you put the idea in comic format. And that’s where I fail. So, without further ado, the text version of my comic ‘idea’, which I really needed to share.

A lot of medical students in the Netherlands are required to take a progress test four times a year. The idea of this test is to gauge your level of knowledge and see how you progress – in year one, you only need to get a few questions right, but after 6 years you need be able to answer all of them. (not really true, I think it was about 75% or so but they say that these questions are things every doctor should know. As if every doctor knows the exact prevalance of pyloric stenosis in the population…) Anyway, four times a year, medical students from all over the Netherlands are put into a sports hall for four hours and made to do this test. It’s a great moment to meet up with people from past tutor groups etc.

Shivering (it is ALWAYS cold in these halls!) you open your test booklet. Some questions depend on pure knowledge (I still can’t remember dermatomes) but others can be answered using the most efficient cheat sheet ever – your own body.

1. Lesion of which nerve causes the so-called ‘dropping hand’?

Being  Pencak Silat player, this is rather easy to find out. Just hit yourself in various places and examine the result. This may impact your ability to hold a pencil, however, as I found out.

2. The m. supraspinatus assists in which movements?

This muscle is located at the top of the schoulder blade, so you can actually feel it. Try various movements to determine when it contracts.

3. Which muscle is responsible for lateral flexion in the ankle?

This question can be answered similarly to question 2 – try to do the movement and feel which muscle contracts. Of course, this only works if it’s a multiple choice question.

4. The diaphragmal muscles have a function during vomiting, true or false

This question actually made me feel sick – I tried to simulate vomiting movements (silently of course :P) and tried to feel whether I felt my diaphragm doing anything. I think I slightly overdid it.

5. What happens when the Thomson test is done on a person with a ruptured achilles tendon

The Thomson test involves squeezing your leg calf – the foot is supposed to go in plantar flexion when everything is alright. Yes, I looked that up because I couldn’t remember – I tried pinching my leg during the test but you can’t really bend sideways so you can see what’s happening under the table…

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One Comment on “Your body as a cheat sheet”

  1. Heart To Harp says:

    You make me glad that my test taking days are behind me! I get to keep my muddles to myself!


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