Are we really hypochondriacs?
- By: Faye A H Cooles
Medical students get a bad press. People think that we are hypochondriacs, obsessed with diagnosing ourselves with rare eponymous syndromes—especially around exam time. But sometimes we get it right. While camping in the Scottish glens, I developed rigors, arthralgia, fever, photophobia, and malaise. The acute phase passed, but without general improvement.
Doctor one: “And how is your mood?” the village general practitioner asked. He seemed disappointed to hear that I was generally fine, got on with my parents and, no, if my boyfriend were late for dinner I didn't break down in tears. My vegetarianism, however, triggered a rant against “rabbit food” and a plea for me to eat an egg a day. He was delighted I was a medical student, and, while peering at my fingernails asked, “What am I looking for in the hands?” I stared at him in horror. My consultation was deteriorating into a teaching session.