Wednesday, April 25, 2012
embracing my inner nerd
one of my favorite books is my taber's medical dictionary. i remember buying it in preparation for my first year of medical school. i still use it sometimes, mostly when i get a radiology report and have no idea what the radiologist is talking about (my patient has a lesion near her clivus? what the heck is a clivus?). but sometimes i just pull it off the shelf and open it randomly. i sort of quiz myself to see if i can find a medical term i don't already know. i don't know why, but medical terminology makes me happy. to me it is the perfect marriage of precision and descriptiveness.
my best friend in medical school and i would make lists of medical terms (a classic stalling tactic when you should be studying) - there were the terms we loved, like foramin of luschka - so fun to say out loud, it rolls off the tongue and makes you think of elegant russian spies...; terms we hated, like empyema - what an ugly word, or maybe it's the fact that it is describing a pocket of pus in a lung...; and terms we could name our children (gracilis is the only one from that list that i can remember and did we really think you could name a child gracilis?).
i was never one to easily pick up a second language. but if you consider the language of medicine to be its own language, then in that i would say i am fluent.