Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Apologies to people who have seen the header and thought I had gone off the rails or something. This is a memory tool to help memorise the causes of pancreatitis (G-Gallstones,E-Ethanol,T-Trauma,S-Steroids,M-Mumps,A-Autoimmune,S-Scorpion and Snake Venom,H-Hypocalcaemia,E-ECPR,D-drugs

This was found on wikipedia when the FM was unable to list more than two cause of pancreatitis when being questioned by an FY1.

This is what medicine does to you, it reduces you to learning lots of mnemonics. Maybe I am starting to sympathise with a consultant who argued that the tragedy of medical school is that it turns bright teenagers into robots. Am I going to be a robot? Maybe this is a good thing, people make mistakes and being a robot means you will always be able to fall back onto a routine, a safety net as such.
Are we all going to be robotised, like most things in life everything seems to be becoming a tick-box routine?


  1. h = hypercalcemia, hyperlipidemia and hypothermia! I always hate it when mnemonics do that! - but an awesome mnemonic none the less! And it puts the most common two at the top as well - keeps me happy.

    I love the diversity of mnemonics out there, I aim to make a really decent one myself one day, and spread the love!

    My faves are the cranial nerves one, or the Krebs cycle one (not too useful come clinical years, that one, though)!

  2. In answer to 'are we all going to be robotised, like most things in life everything seems to be becoming a tick-box routine?'...

    Well, not sure about everybody else, but as for yourself...

    It's up to you. Are you brave, clever, and inspired enough to take the risks involved in not becoming 'robotised'?

    Do you actually WANT to be brave, clever and inspired enough to not be 'robotised'/can you be bothered? I mean, one can have a perfectly fulfilled life doing the tick box routine, you know...but it does depend on personality.

    When you can answer those both, then you'll be able to answer the question you posed.


  3. @confusedbutsmiling

    Is it possible to be both? To have all the tickboxes completed correctly and do things 'by the book' but have enough time and brainpower left over to think of new and better ways to do things or to think imaginatively when the tickboxes aren't working? (This is what I'm going to be aiming for when I become a doctor in the long distant future but am I being unrealistic?)