Do doctors have super-powers?

Medical school may sap you of a social life but it comes with a few special powers!

Bushra Maheen Rahman January 13, 2011
Medical education seems tedious and never-ending. It has the capacity to kill with utter cruelty but it does have a few perks.

As I near graduation I have realized that I have changed. My English grammar and composition have suffered a severe blow. My literary sense has gone down the drain. But my colleagues and I have also acquired a few specialised skills at medical school which we are extremely proud of.

1. Energy: The magic 5 minute power nap

In first years of my college, my parents were a little perplexed when they would find me sprawled on the floor over my anatomy book . They would nudge, wake me up and ask me to lie down properly. But with time, they made peace with the fact that I had mastered the talent of sleeping for exactly five minutes on a hard floor and waking up fresh.

Nobody believes it but trust a medical student who studies for more than 30 hours at a stretch during preparation leaves. It is quite possible. Those five minutes are pure bliss plus nothing makes a better pillow than an anatomy book! Medical students also take power naps in lecture halls, so don't be surprised if you see students zonked out there.

2. Resources: Capacious over-all pockets

There is nothing as pretty as a doctor's crisp white coat and it carries an unparalleled charm. Come third year and the pockets of that white coat become stuffed with a collection of items. In a student's overall, one can easily find a stethoscope, three or four pens, a torch, a measuring tape, a thermometer, an ophthalmoscope and in extreme cases a blood-pressure apparatus as well. It's true - all this can fit in to that tiny space.

3. Immunity: Digital rectal exams

Digital rectal exams are like metaphorical bones that you can neither spit nor swallow. These have been the most uncomfortable part of my medical career and not a day goes by without one of us performing a digital rectal exam. There can be no doubt that the patients hate it more than we do but if you are a doctor and don't know how to examine the rectum of an unsuspecting patient you are doomed - for life. Surgeons, particularly, will never forgive you. You might even be the butt of their jokes for all eternity.

4. Brain power: Ability to revise a course book in 2-hours flat

As time passes in medical school, we invariably develop the ability to revise course books within hours - the whole content in all its glory. And whoever said rote learning is a big no-no during medical education, lied. We learn things like a parrot and if asked can repeat them like one too. If they still insist, ask them what they did during their Pharmacology exam.

5. X-ray vision...or horrible handwriting vision

When I entered medical school, I promised myself that I would never write with my feet. I am about to graduate and I can proudly say that my handwriting resembles nothing like it was in first year. I can probably write better with my feet if given a chance. If a graphology student ever tried to assess a doctor's handwriting, he would run for dear life.

Who understands those wriggly threads anyway, right? If three years of training at hospitals has led to one thing, it's the fact that only medical students can extract information out of patient files. We glance at a prescription, see that there is a wavy line and voila! "It’s Augmentin!”
Bushra Maheen Rahman A doctor from Peshawar who writes, blogs at www.pistaye.wordpress and tweets @MaheenRahman
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Friend | 12 years ago | Reply Loved it =D My rote power is about to be tested. Pharma, here I come!! P.S. Thank you for suggesting the power naps, they really do work =D
Elena Shah | 13 years ago | Reply Why isnt there a thumbs up option?...Luvd your article!!!...each and every bit of it is turnin out to be true!!..and its been only 4 months that I've entered my Med College..o_O..
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