Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Brief Guide to Test Week

One of the crowning achievements of all medical school admissions offices is their ability to assemble such a brilliant collage of neurotic behaviors.  Our test on the kidney is this Friday, which means it’s exam week.  Which also means my classmates and I are finding creative ways to bolster our individual expressions of neurosis.
Many med students—perhaps myself included—will generally stop sleeping during this electric week.  Within this group exists a rarer breed that begins purchasing double-caffeinated espresso by the handle starting Monday morning (I think the Starbucks on our campus is having a special this week).  Still others give up shaving, or bathing, or changing their clothes for a string of five or six days, spurning hygiene in favor of multiple-choice glory.  A rather common variation of the anti-hygiene syndrome is the collapsible food pyramid.  This is when a med student foregoes the standard five food groups, essentially packing away the beloved pyramid, with the aim of living out of boxes labeled “Nabisco” for a few days.  This is like camping.  I think.
However, while the surface expression of exam-induced neurosis can be quite variable, the pathognomonic lesion is the Facebook update which cleverly indicates yes, I do indeed have an upcoming test (especially a new status containing notions of how much/little I am studying).  For the sake of fulfilling this duty, I have written a haiku:
The Kidney
Concentrates my pee
As my concentration vies
To produce the most
Sometimes I joke that I applied to medical school not because I wanted to become a doctor, but because I love tests and I heard medical school had some good ones.  Of course, this is just me being facetious.  But it is also probably 9.22% true.  There, I confessed my neurosis.  Now I need to get back to studying.


  1. hahaha. it is test week for us, too and i'm about to start my diet of potato chips. actually i pride myself on being able to keep my hygiene and my apartment clean during exam week...for the most part. good luck!

  2. It's interesting that, as you point out, most of us tend to exhibit our idiosyncrasies when under pressure. I wonder what activity in the brain causes that.


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