Med school is all about learning new things -- but not all of these new things are all that interesting. If more lecturers paid attention to the times, maybe people would tune in more.
In a constant quest for case-relevance, I tune in to the hubbub that surrounds me... Halloween! I got the idea from Dr. Charles' elf entry and from Yahoo story about a paper entitled "Ghosts, Zombies and Vampires - Cinema fiction versus Physics Reality" by Costas Efthhimiou. They've got some great stories and I wanted to add a bit more. It might not be PC, it might not even wholly accurate, but gosh darnit, I hope it's educational and dare I say it?!? I hope it's amusing as well.
To start things off in my investigation into occult medical "mythdiagnoses", I turn to the classic Halloween monster of them all:
My biochem professor speculated that King (correction: George) the III had a few bouts of acute intermittent porphyria and as a result, Britain lost in the American Revolution. People with other types of porphyria with buildups of tetrapyrrole get itchy or burning sensations in their skin in bright light. This can lead to hair loss, loosening of nail beds and retraction of gum lines (which is probably less disconcerting around Halloween.)