One of the essential skills a medical student has to
learn is the ability to take a list of symptoms, exam findings, and lab
results and determine which diagnosis is consistent with that
data. For example, when seeing a patient like the gorgeous
and brilliant woman pictured above, you should immediately think that
this patient may in fact be a pirate. If so, she should be
quickly referred to the Comprehensive Pirate Clinic. (There
the pirate specialists can manage issues like scurvy, splinters from
planks, prosthesis fitting, and deck-swabbing-related repetitive-motion
injuries.) Without even thinking about it, we note the parrot
on her shoulder and obvious pirate insignia, and realize that they fit
our pattern for a pirate.
This is from the medical student blog, A Dose of Reality.
The site does not have permalinks to individual posts, so it
might not be there anymore, but I found the post href="http://www2.med.umich.edu/medschool/reality/blog.cfm?id=4">here.
It was written by Ben Bryner, M3, on 8/29/2006. I actually
posted this in November 2006, because I always forget to put up an
acknowledgment of Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Anyway, it is not entirely whimsical. The conclusion:
is why many expensive studies are devoted to finding a proven list of
criteria that will quantify a patients risk for something like heart
disease; it gives doctors a verified list of the right questions to ask.
For example, the formula to quantify a patients likelihood of being a
pirate might look like this:
on shoulder (4 pts)
hat (1 pt)
pirate slang like Avast, matey! (1pt)
around barnacle-encrusted treasure chest and will not let go of it for
a second (3 pts)