Prom, TPP, and TPA

I may have mentioned this before – but the statement is crazy enough to risk repeating again:

“The average medical student will forget more information that the average American will learn in their lifetime”
– Unvetted source

And so – the battle continues. We’re back from Christmas break, and with Step 1 USMLE (united states medical licensing exam) 6 Months out the panic is beginning to set in on a lot of my classmates. Admittedly – its a pretty big deal, as the door to one’s dream career seems once again opened by a ____ point score (Uppper-Mid 200’s) . (Oh, did I mention that one can only pass the exam once?)

Looking at myself – I had hoped to go back to the environment that made studying for the MCAT so effective, but without daily home-cooked meals, or the Refrigerator from The lion the witch and the Fridge, it seemed I would have to find another way to take the studying to another level. I’ve picked up a sea of interesting reading on the topic ” Building the step1 brain”, “Mind-Gym” etc, however the most valuable lessons so far have been introduced by a wildly illustrated book called “The SketchNote Handbook” (By Mike Rohde). I saw it on the blog 33 Charts (by Eric Topol) – which usually highlights social media, technology, and the eventual “creative destruction” of medicine the way I imagine this blog will some day do.

but back to the point –

There is SO much information out here – recording it all, retaining it all, heck, regurgitating it all has been quite the challenge – Fitting that the first and most important’ topic of the Sketchnote handbook (which uses mini doodles like a 1980’s CPA used a calculator) is “Picking the Main idea”

Ah, that ever-present golden ticket : The Main Idea. Ignore the minutiae the professor will probably ask on the exam, the Main idea is often embedded deep within a professors lecture, or, (as i’m reading now) a journal article.

I’m currently reading about TPP, “Thyrotoxic Periodic Paralysis” (Not to be confused with the Clot-Buster TPA) …and the author didn’t bother to explain the thyrotoxic part of the disease until five-pages-in. Imagine my notes – sketchnotes rather – following their long circuitous path only to bank left and travel up to the top of the page with a long arrow that says “Main Idea”.

“Why complain?” I hear you asking –

Because I’d already read about the 2% of patients with Oriental (yes…that’s how old this article is) descent who suffer from the disease, followed the in-depth explanation of the arrhythmia-inducing hypokalemia and internalized the names of the genes which mutated to cause this disease.

The culprit is KCNJ18…

The moment I read it “All my life” by K-Ci N’ JoJo started playing from the heavens, and for one blissful moment, I was 18 again, dancing awka-suavely with my date to the last song at Prom.

I will absolutely NEVER forget that KCNJ18 is the gene responsible for TPP….but the main idea…come to think of it, I had better go back and remember what it was.

I love Medschool.



    • You’re gracious magistra-
      Sam, Adrian and I met up over break(what little of it we had)
      You were heavily on our mind- and Sam says you’ve softened up.
      Scoldings to follow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s