The Cheerful Oncologist

‘Tis the time of year to bring tidings of joy and celebrate Homo sapien-kind’s (formerly known as mankind’s) spirit of generosity. Not being one to scoff at this equitable terpsichore of self-esteem, we here at the Cheerful Oncologist have a quiz of medical knowledge guaranteed to raise the confidence of every person who takes it. Initial beta-testing has shown that 99% of testees (please don’t confuse this term with any androgenic anatomical appendages) obtain a perfect score. What better way to promote our citizen’s intelligence than to give everybody an “A,” right? Now sharpen your pencils and put on your reading glasses (for those readers who have reached un certain age), and prepare to boast to your friends.

1. Raynaud’s sign is characterized by what finding?

A. a change in the voice described by Freundeur as akin to the “mating call of the howler monkey.”
B. periungual gelatinous discharge (cf. toe jam)
D. a condition marked by symmetrical cyanosis of the extremities

2. Zellweger’s syndrome is best described as

A. a variant of obsessive-compulsive disorder in which the subject attempts to shoot an elephant in his pajamas without knowing how he got in them
B. affecting a rural southern accent in return for a golden statuette
C. neurotic knee-knocking when noshing on knockwurst
D. A rare autosomal recessive disorder with onset in fetal life, affecting multiple organs and leading to death in infancy

3. The function of the amygdala in humans is to

A. lubricate the skin between each roll of abdominal fat
B. protect auditory nerve cells from the sound of teenage whining
C. produce the taste of almonds when eating a Mounds Bar
D. coordinate the formation and storage of memories associated with emotional events

4. Bielskowsky’s amaurotic idiocy is also commonly known as

A. Spruglieber’s Delicatessen
B. Enschatz’s Exigesis Explaining Eggs Benedict
C. Oscar the Ominous Eight-Armed Octopus Eating an M&M
D. Bernheimer-Seitelberger syndrome, or Dollinger-Bielschowsky syndrome, or Jansky-Bielschowsky syndrome, or Seitelberger’s disease, or Jansky-Bielschowsky disease

[Editor’s note: must close for lunch….quiz will resume soon….]


  1. #1 Spaulding
    December 14, 2007

    Trick question – there are no almonds in a Mounds Bar! Does that mean I’m now licensed to practice medicine?

  2. #2 klari
    December 21, 2007

    Oh! This quiz is lovely.

    I’m not smarter than most medical students, but, being French, I speak better than most. May I say then that you don’t need the “d” before “un certain âge”.

    Rushing to the 2nd part of the quizz,
    An ex-anonymous reader from France

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