Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

May 2, 2001 | Volume 2, Issue 5

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Neurology Rotation Causes Worst Headache Of Life

Crushing symptoms similar to those of intracranial bleed

DETROIT, MI—Students and medical residents rotating through Neurology experience an unusually high incidence of terrible, one-of-a-kind headaches, says a new report.

Doing a neuro rotation?

"Usually, when someone complains of the 'worst headache of my life,' you have to think about subarachnoid hemorrhage," said Dr. Lewis Levy, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). "But the new study suggests that the very first question should be, 'Are you doing a Neurology rotation?'"

Typically, in a subarachnoid hemorrhage, pain results from the rupture of an intracranial aneurysm, causing a severe, acute headache which is progressive and unrelenting in nature.

In contrast, experts believe that headaches during Neurology rotations, though also excruciating, are more often due to irritating interactions with arrogant, obsessive-compulsive attendings, or with conceited, supercillious neurology residents.

These headaches appear to be exacerbated by the tedium of unnecessarily long and drawn-out neurology rounds, during which attendees are forced to endure exhaustive neurological examinations of patient after patient.

Doctor's bag: poor prognosis

An especially noteworthy finding is that the possession by the attending of a "doctor's bag," containing instruments used to perform an endless array of redundant tests on patients during rounds, heralds an especially poor headache prognosis. In extreme cases, say researchers, resulting headaches may last long after the rotation is over.

"Just get the damn CT, give the dude some aspirin, and get on with it already," says Levy.

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