Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trivia Payoff

I read a really cool blog in which a practicing MD reviews episodes of House and evaluates not only the soap opera aspects but also the medicine, giving letter-grade scores in several categories. It's a ton of fun; Scott (the blogger) and I are both totally over the "no way would these people be doing all these tests themselves" stage, so that pleases me. And since he actually knows what he's talking about, where I tend to have a vague sense of an intuition, I can actually learn something every now and then. Definitely worth a look.

But since baseball was on this week, and there was no new House, Scott is doing the second-annual "guess the disease" game. Commenters to the blog are asked to provide a list of ten things that House and his team will either consider and reject, test for, or eventually wind up diagnosing a patient with. There's a scale of points awarded for canny predictions, depending on which of those categories the malady winds up in. Presumably, somehow someone will be keeping score.

For posterity, and because I like big words, here's my list of conditions I think the writers of House will bring out this season:

1. Blood Transfusion Reaction

2. Arrythmia brought on by energy drink/sports drink

3. Neurogenic Vertigo

4. SLE (Lupus)

5. Teratoma

6. Periodic Paralysis/ “Channelopathy”

7. Polyarteritis Nodosa

8. Polymyalgia Rheumatica

9. Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn

10. Chronic Beryllium Disease

Yes, I had to look a couple of them up. Several came to me from various case studies and other edumacational activities. One or two I found when I searched for obscure, weird stuff.

Medicine is a great field if you like random bits of trivia. For example, I've been hearing all about Virchow's Triad, and I just happened to come across a story about this Virchow character today. He seems to have been a funny guy on top of being a genius; as a liberal member of Germany's Reichstag in the 1880's, he so annoyed Otto Von Bismarck that Bismarck challenged him to a duel once. According to author Sherwin Newland, Virchow subverted the duel entirely by choosing as the weapon... wait for it... scalpels.

Today's theme would be smart-arse doctors, then.

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