Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy



We had a review of gastrointestinal pathology today. At one point, our prof started listing off potential complications of a peptic ulcer. As he spouted off a list of medical terminology, I realized that I knew what he was saying.

I had a sudden flashback to a pizzeria in Perugia, during my time as an exchange student. I was the only American who knew Italian, and since the waiter spoke no English, I had to translate for everyone on the fly. In between ordering appetizers and main courses, I noticed that I wasn't thinking about what the words meant. They just made sense to me. It was the first time that I realized I knew how to speak Italian.

That's what this felt like, today- I was understanding Medicalese. It was kind of surreal. Don't get me wrong- I'm definitely not claiming to be an expert in medical knowledge. What I do think is at some point over the past year and a half, my classmates and I have become somewhat familiar with the medical jargon. When I really stop to think about it, it's amazing to think of how far we've come*.

*of course, it's even more amazing to ponder how far we have yet to go. Since that's somewhat depressing, though, we'll focus on the positive.

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  1. I, however, do claim to be an expert and I do indeed think that it’s high time for you to catch up. Yes.

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