Sunday, 9 May 2010

Consultant Syndrome

The FM did not come up with the term, but she shall tentatively offer a definition.It is the “Inability of a medical student to say anything rational or sensible when questioned by a consultant.” This is something that the FM suffers from.

This happened last week to the FM when she was asked about Meckel’s Diverticulum. This was something that had been read about in Kumar and Clark, so with confidence she shouted out “Rules of two!” Unfortunately consultant syndrome kicked in and this is the only thing to have left the FMs mouth.

So revisions for the weekend, finding out what these rules of two are, they include
1)2incheslong 2)2 feet from the ileocecal valve 3)2% of the population have it 2)Males are twice as likely to get it.

Unfortunately now this knowledge has been learnt (again) it is unlikely that the FM will be questioned about it in the future, thus will not be able to show off.

This condition particularly affects the FM when examining patients in front of six other students and a consultant/registrar. She is quite confident doing the basic examinations on her own (or even when being assessed-the FM passed comfortably when being watched by one examiner last week). The FM is able to progress from one stage to another, looking for any pathology. But when asked to do in front of other people she falls apart, always wondering whats she's going to miss out next (liver flap, chest expansion etc)

Any wacky cures out there?


  1. I would suggest imagining them naked, but given some of the consultants I have seen, that might make you somewhat ill! :)

  2. Although my name, "A New Kind of GP" might suggest an ingenue, it is inspired and adapted from Julian Tudor Hart's wonderful book "A New Kind of Doctor". I am not that new. My learning as an ageing GP to be handed over to you is that some of those consultants who had intimidated me as a student have since been my patients - or at the very least been dependent on my referrals. We have all learned the power of how to communicate effectively as a result.

  3. I get that around anyone who is a Band 6 or over. Absolute garbage comes out of my mouth whenever they're in earshot. Which is crap, because there's a lot of Band 6's...

  4. Heya, thanks for the comments guys - I have taken inspiration from the fact that consultants, registrars etc are just as likely to be wrong (some of the time anyway) as I am.

    Do consultants realise there scary? Do they love the power? Or is it something that we somehow imagine?