Monday, May 05, 2008


I have a bad case of senioritis. This was diagnosed some weeks ago (it's affecting 3 other classmates of mine)- I hope it's not too severe. I did find some information about this strange disease.


Definition: A mysterious illness afflicting seniors of any graduate program, usually in their final few months. Also known as Laziness.

ICD-9 code: 780.7

Epidemiology: Published studies put the prevalence of this illness at at least 80% of seniors. Risk increases with age, with male:female 4:1. Especially if patients have completed the board requirements for their program, or worse, are already board-certified.

Clinical features: Apathy, lack of motivation to study or learn new skills, extreme fatigue when tasked with administrative and academic duties, nonsensical mumbling speech when giving presentations (apathetic aphasia), obsession with surfing on the internet during work hours, mental slowing, and tendency to watch hours of TV (especially HGTV) at home. In severe cases, weight gain and flatulence have been described.

Tests: No laboratory test have been shown to be reliable. MRI may show evidence of cerebral atrophy.

Treatment: The only cure is for the patient to graduate ASAP and move on to the new chapter. Other treatment modalities such as: new girlfriend, sports car, gadgets and toys, journal publications, have only been shown to transiently increase motivation, and are considered palliative.

Prognosis: Usually excellent.

Really with the impending graduating, I'm finding it hard to want to sit down and learn new stuff. Case in mind, my last rotation. Though some things were interesting, I knew it would not be relevant to my practice. And hence, my conversations with the OB/Gyn fellow were something like this:

Her: Would you like to see this patient? She has endometriosis
Me: Err, nope. Not really relevant to me.
Her: What about this case of fibroids?
Me: I'll pass. I'll just work on my manuscript.

In talking to my other colleagues, all having secured jobs already, everyone's just counting down for the next 2 months. We're already board-certified, and our consultants basically have us on 'cruise control' so I don't even run most of my cases by my consultants anymore because they trust we know what we're doing by now (I hope!). I'm frequently finding my mind straying, to wedding planning, or how we can spruce up our new home. I'm having trouble even trying to find the energy to complete the 3 manuscripts I'm working on.
Oh well. I guess this is normal, after 6 years postgrad training. Many before me have had this illness, and survived.

In the meantime, if you want me, I'll be in the jacuzzi sipping on my mojito.