Two weeks ago, our medical school had its “Cadaver Ball” – a med school prom of sorts, traditionally held to commemorate the end of first-year anatomy. Although we now carry anatomy through the summer (ugh), the tradition of Cadaver Ball remains a spring event.
Cadaver Ball is an extravagant, black tie production. Entertainment is provided by both the first- and fourth-year classes in the form of music, awards, and videos. From our year, classmates produced a handful of movies: a parody of Lorde’s Royals entitled, predictably, Doctors; a Med School Olympics complete with play-by-play commentary; and a boy-band ode to an anatomy professor set to the tune of That’s What Makes You Beautiful.
One idea that never got off the drawing board was a mock trailer for a medical student version of the TV show Sherlock. Here’s what a Sherlock encounter looks like:
Since we didn’t make the video, I thought I’d share the script. Which I, obviously, wrote. (Probably why it never got off the ground).
INT. NONDESCRIPT HALLWAY IN DOCTOR’S OFFICE – DAY
A flamboyantly-dressed young STUDENT SHERLOCK stands next to his ATTENDING PHYSICIAN, looking at PHYSICIAN. (Ideally, the STUDENT looks like Benedict Cumberbatch, but we both know that’s not gonna happen). The STUDENT flips idly through the chart in his hand.
Ready to go see the patient?
STUDENT nods, and the two set off.
INT. SMALL, UNKNOWN SPACE
STUDENT’S POV on PATIENT,
a shabbily-dressed man wearing a fishing hat, Bass Pro Shop T-shirt, denim jeans, and ragged, torn flip-flops.
EXTREME CLOSE UP on STUDENT’S FACE
as he takes in the PATIENT, analyzing the possibilities.
STUDENT’S POV on PATIENT
as the STUDENT notices things about the PATIENT, white text labeling the part pops up on screen. The fisherman hat and T-shirt indicates a marine lifestyle. Small cuts on the hands and feet, from the sharp tools used in fishing. Clubbing on the hands, indicating liver cirrhosis. Spider veins on the legs, also for cirrhosis. A new bandage on his leg is present, possibly covering a lesion.
(light bulb goes off)
(mechanically, with confidence)
The patient is a 45-year old man who
presents today complaining of
leg pain. It is immediately apparent
that he is a fisherman by trade, which
I deduced by his appropriate headgear
and upper body clothing. Physical exam
revealed clubbing of his hands and
palmar erythema. My exam also revealed
spider nevi and varicosities on his
anterior lower extremities, all consistent with
chronic liver disease. This chronic
condition, plus the small cuts on the hands
and feet of a man who spends time in marine
environments, is strongly suggestive of a
bacteremic Vibrio vulnificus. We can confirm by testing the
recent lesion the patient is concealing under that new bandage
on his leg. However, given the virulence of this motile,
Gram-negative rod, I suggest we immediately admit the patient
and begin treatment with IV doxycycline and
ceftazidime to prevent rapid sepsis and death.
ANGLE SHOT on PATIENT, who is standing slack-jawed.
CUT TO ANGLE SHOT on STUDENT and ATTENDING,
who steps forward into STUDENT’S personal space.
(after a pause)
First of all, you’re in Tennessee.
You’re 500 miles from marine water.
Second of all, that’s not the patient.
Student turns to look at the PATIENT, a look of astonishment on his face as shame begins to flush his cheeks.
Third, we’re on the elevator.
The elevator pings, the doors open, and the PATIENT runs out.