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