It doesn’t matter whether you were a germophobe before coming to medical school, or if you prescribed to the “rub some dirt in it” philosophy. When you go to medical school, you become a hypochondriac. You spend all day, every day, learning about signs, symptoms, and diseases. After awhile, you find yourself thinking “I’m tired. Maybe I have anemia/hypothyroid/chronic fatigue syndrome?”
It can (and will!) happen to anyone. There you are, minding your own business in class, and the professor is describing a disease that you definitely don’t have….except, what if you do?
Calm down, self. Logically if you had leukemia/Goodpasture’s/Addison’s/Etc… then you would have symptoms. But wait a minute, isn’t one of the symptoms “fatigue?” You are tired all the time. Cheese and crackers–you are probably dying!
Ok, Ok–pull it together. What are the other symptoms? You weren’t listening to the professor, so you don’t know. Quick, Dr. Google probably knows! Dysphagia–you know, some times things go down the wrong pipe. Its probably a tumor. Coughing–you cough all the time! In fact, now your throat feels kind of scratchy. How has no one else noticed how sick you are?
Instead of taking notes on the rest of the lecture, you get onto webMD and learn all you can about the disease that will one day cause your tragically short life. How sad for your friends and family to have to watch you struggle nobly with this vicious illness.
The internet says that your downfall was caused by a genetic abnormality and most patients present with severe symptoms. It is a testament to how strong and stoic you are that your symptoms are so mild.
Goodbye, cruel world! One day they will tell your story in this very medical school. The professor will stand before the class and tell your sad, sad story. “If only we had caught it earlier,” he will openly weep. “She was the best of us all….” Wings of the hospital will be named after you. A scholarship will be set up in your honor.Your picture will hang–
Wait a second–this disease is caused by a chromosomal abnormality and is associated with mental retardation. You totally don’t have that. You are the smartest person you know! In fact, you don’t even have those symptoms you thought you did. You never cough, and everyone is tired in medical school. You are alive. Amazing!
After that near death experience, you can sit back, relax and pay attention to the next lecture. Of course, the next professor will probably tell you about another disease and the process will start all over again.