Magic and Medicine

July 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

My friend C and I made a pact this summer that we would be each other’s dates for Harry Potter 7.2, and later this year, the last Twilight installment. (If this revelation is a deal-breaker, and you cannot continue reading, I completely understand). As I am a medical student by day after all, I want to take this opportunity to make an exploration of medicine as presented in these universes.

Imagine a world where instead of DayQuil, you took PepperUp potion, and treated your acne with Bubotuber pus, not Proactiv. Imagine that the rite of passage of childhood wasn’t chicken pox, but dragon pox, which is infinitely worse and sometimes fatal. Where your kid brother could substitute Skele-Gro for the growth hormones he had to take when he stopped lengthening at the age of ten, but without all the side effects of the dizziness and diarrhea. How crazy would it be to round the wards and treat patients for Spattergroit instead of measles, or alternatively, Vanishing Sickness (which is contagious and takes Personal Protective Equipment to a whole new level of importance)? Okay it’s been decided. I will have my Principal Clinical Experience during third year at the St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Sorry, Brigham.

But then again, perhaps that universe isn’t that different, really. Chocolate for fainting spells? Calming droughts for bouts of anxiety? I mean, I take that already. It’s called lemon tea.  And yes, while I don’t live in fear that a werewolf bite will give me a life of lycanthropy, the bite of a rabid dog can give me rabies, and the sight of a rattlesnake, a heart attack.

Perhaps this is all wishful thinking (no duh). And besides, medicine in the real world is pretty darn exciting too and there’s no time like the present and no place like Boston to remind me of that time and again. I’m content.

A note about Twilight: a friend once suggested that the undead Cullens have Porphyria Cutanea Tarda. After all, they seem to have issues with heme, and Edward does blister in the sunlight… But what kind of ordinary human girl can smell blood? Bella has got to have pellagra. Or Asperger’s.

Alright, back to work.

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