Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reflections of an 18th Year Medical Student: Bananarama.

For me, being a medical student was bananas. Some of my richest memories are from that time. . .and some of my funniest. I just remembered something from back then while making coffee this morning and had to laugh out loud. (Loud enough for my kids to ask me to tell them the joke, too . . .or show them the YouTube video, too.) Anyways. . .it's funny to imagine how much we learn and grow throughout our medical training and experience. . . . .sigh. . . .

Labor and Delivery Wards
circa 1994 at the start of our Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship:

True story:

This is a note that was in the chart, written by a well-meaning medical student/classmate who shall remain nameless, considering that this person is more than likely a fully licensed practitioner of the healing arts in some part of the world right about now. . . . .

Background: As medical students, we couldn't sign our own orders, which meant our plans had to involve either the immediate input and signature of the (very busy) attending physician or the (even busier and often annoyed by pesky medical student) resident physician. . .

. . . .unless, of course, the therapy didn't require a medical license.  . . . .(rubbing hands together) . .Bwaaah Haaah Haaaaaaaaahh!

Progress Note, MS III (med student, third year)

Subjective:  Active labor, progressing well. Pain 0/10 2/10 with epidural in place. Complains of leg cramps.

Objective:  Vital signs within normal limits. Temperature 37 celsius. Blood pressure 108/75. Pulse 100. Lungs: clear Cardiovascular: normal heart sounds, regular rate and rhythm. Abdomen: gravid, nontender. GU: 6cm dilated?, 70% effaced, position ? (will discuss with attending) Extremities: 2+ swelling edema.

Labs:  Potassium: 2.3 !!!  (VERY LOW)

Assessment:  1. 27 year old female G1P0 in active labor. Going to have her baby today (probably.)    2.  Really Low potassium  Profound hypokalemia.

Plan:   Give her some potassium.  A banana, stat. 
            Order given to nurse.

Uuuumm, yeah. For the record, we have excellent alternative therapies to profound potassium depletion than emergent fruit consumption. (If only I had been a fly on the wall when the nurse received that "stat" order. . . . .)


All I'm saying is this: Lawd have mercy!! Thank heavens for medical education.

Um yeah.


  1. yes, but there is def credit given for creativity if not for adequate treatment. =)

  2. ha ha ha! couldn't wait for you to read this one, andi!

  3. lol love this. I'm a medical student and I can totally relate:)


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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