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Today we help elucidate the differences between two things that are often mistaken for each other by healthcare providers.

deer headlightsA deer in headlights is part of the family Cervidae and there are numerous types of deer: white-tailed, black-tailed, red, fallow, and reindeer.  A medical student is a Homo sapien of the family Hominidae and there are numerous forms of medical students: first years, second years, third years, fourth years, motivated, unmotivated, gunners, and non-gunners.

A deer in headlights has a compact body, long and powerful legs, and a very short tail.  A medical student has a compact knowledge base, long and powerful penlights and ophthalmoscopes, and a very short white coat.  A deer in headlights might have sturdy antlers.  A medical student might have a quality stethoscope.

A medical student is always green.  No deer is green, only a John Deere.

A deer in headlights has a four-chambered stomach.  A medical student has a very weak stomach, which is extremely sensitive to blood, trauma, worms, scabies, the smell of C. difficile and other wound infections, hypoglycemia, and a lack of sleep.  A deer in headlights usually eats well, feeding primarily on leaves.  A medical student usually eats poorly, feeding primarily on graham crackers and intern leftovers.

A deer in headlights has a pheromone-producing facial gland around the eye that helps mark his or her territory.  A medical student has tear-producing lacrimal glands around the eye that helps mark his or her high levels of stress and anxiety.  Both a deer in headlights and a medical student exercise their respective glands often.

A deer in headlights is often encountered at nighttime while driving on a long, winding road.  A deer in headlights is easily startled by any abrupt movement or sound.  A medical student is often found lost in a long, winding stairwell.  A medical student is easily startled by both medical questions (“What can you tell me about Heyde’s syndrome?” or “Are you ready to present the patient?”) and non-medical questions (“How are you?” or “What is your name?”).

A deer in headlights lives in a variety of habitats, ranging from tundra to rainforests, though the majority live in mixed deciduous or coniferous forests.  This differs from a medical student, who lives with one to three other roommates in a cheap, small apartment, though many are spotted in mixed graduate or undergraduate libraries.

A deer in headlights may be an unfortunate victim if it isn’t able to jump out of the way of a moving vehicle.  A medical student may be an unfortunate victim if he or she doesn’t bring one’s A game amidst an onslaught of endless pimping.  Both a deer in headlights and a medical student may go by the nickname “Bambi.”

Now, do you know the difference between ...
a medicine service and a garbage dump?
arthropods & orthopods?
medical students & residents?
RICE & rice?
white clouds & black clouds?

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    First there was Dr. 01, the first robot physician, created to withstand toxic levels of burnout in an increasingly mechanistic and impossibly demanding healthcare field. Dr. 99 builds upon the advances of its ninety-eight predecessors by phasing out all human emotion, innovation, and creativity completely, and focusing solely on pre-programmed protocols and volume-based productivity. In its spare time, Dr. 99 enjoys writing for Gomerblog and listening to Taylor Swift.

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