In the midst of exam and OSCE practice I’ve been doing so many crappy examinations on so many of my friends and family who have begrudgingly agreed to help me and I realised; I rarely take a good look at myself. Maybe it’s time for a self-examination

Do NOT make that sentence weird.

This site is PG13 thank you very much.


I actually haven’t checked.

Can I swear? I’ve been swearing in all my posts haven’t I?


Anyway. I digress – whoever’s taking note of this examination, please take down that the patient is easily distractible.

A self-examination was in order.

*deep breath*

Here goes:


General Inspection:

  • Patient appears anxious, unkempt, in pain (unsure as to whether physical or mental)
    • Stains on clothes ?tea ?urine ?other bodily fluids… I am on psych…who knows
  • Surrounded by learning aids – flash cards, library books, mnemonics scribbled on hospital notepaper, you name it. These aids are mostly placebos – the student will inevitably leave it too late to effectively use any of the resources they spent their precious cash on


Placebo papers: notes you took down to study later but never will. Nor will you throw them – the fear of tossing information that could help you pass is too strong


Vital signs:

  • Tachycardic and tachypnoeic since the word examination was mentioned
  • Convinced otherwise.



  • Stink of chlorhexidine
  • Nails bitten to stubs
  • Gaping hole where another student attempted a cannula in a foolish ‘tit for tat’ scenario
    • Beware the student who suggests this first



  • Hair unkempt, greasy. THAT’S where my pen went!
  • Eyes dead inside. Also twitching
  • Loss of outer third of eyebrows HOLY CRAP I’M HYPOTHYROID
    • Or I’ve been pulling at them when stressed…. Definitely the thyroid thing



  • Shoulders asymmetrical – on palpation knots are felt that even the most seasoned sailor couldn’t unravel
  • Singular, mildly enlarged lymph node – student has been obsessing over this: assumed high likelihood of cancer



  • Hunched over – fitted perfectly to desk
  • Heart strain from excessive caffeine intake


Coffee mug

You know it’s nearing exam time when caffeine starts to have zero effect




  • Liver struggling to recuperate since the last AXP. Won’t know what hit it come mid-November
  • On auscultation the bowels can be heard softly crying ‘please no more mi goreng’….strange



  • On inspection feet look tired
    • Is that possible? If so they do
  • Blisters from uncomfortable placement shoes


Mental state:

  • Patient laughs (and cries) at inappropriate times
  • Confirmed imposter syndrome
  • Entertains bizarre delusions of a better work-life balance in future



  • Major hypochondriac
  • Severely sleep deprived
  • Diet lacking in most major food groups
  • Really needs to go outside



  • Average medical student circa late October






Eva Matthews Staindl

Year 4 med student


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A Taste of My Own Medicine: Examination of a Medical Student
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