Monday, April 24, 2006

Queen Square Patella Hammers

As promised, the experience of my final medicine OSCE deserves a blog post. Or rather, my SOSCE, which stands for Subjective Objective Structured Clinical Examination. We all got gussied up in our suits, struggling to find a place to lodge those Queen Square Patella Hammers, stethoscopes and penlights without looking like we were construction workers with massive utility belts. Honestly, there is no justification for the design of these patella hammers. There is NO good way to carry them around apart from poking a hole in your pocket and having them protrude ridiculously from it. Hence the phenomenon of doctors checking reflexes with stethoscopes.

We all sighed with relief with the announcement that funduscopy would not be required. Come to think of it, I would rather have used my ophthalmoscope with the eyes not dilated in broad daylight using the largest diameter setting than my Queen Square Patella Hammer. Which says a lot. May Gordon Holmes turn over in his grave (did you know he was Irish?). Here is another interesting pre-exam fact which Brian Hayes pointed out to me. Apparently Abraham Colles, of RCSI and Colles Fracture fame, was succeeded by Smith, who, apart from describing the opposite fracture, also performed Colles autopsy. Also, thanks Brian for pointing out that the glabellar tap is performed by percussion whereas the jaw jerk is performed with the patellar hammer.


medstudentitis said...

My friend has a Queen square hammer with a telescoping handle it makes me extremely jealous as I poke myself all the time with end of mine (which is whittled to a fine point for babinski's reflex). On our OSCEs we're not allowed to bring our own equipment and last time I had a reflex the hammer provided wasn't even a queen square so I'm not sure why the heck we were all told to buy one. Oh well.

I've been working on my library thing.


medstudentitis said...

as per your suggestion: