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"Top 10" Lists

Ben_3Ben Bryner -- As the end of the year rolls around, there are a few temptations that can be hard to avoid: a) eating a lot, and b) trying to make sense of the year by compiling "best-of" lists.

Some of my favorite year-end lists are here:

Nick Hornby's Playlist for 2008

Pitchfork's best music videos of 2008

The New York Times' 2008 in Pictures

The Boston Globe's Big Picture Blog’s 3-part 2008 In Photographs series

List-making seems to satisfy a deep-seated need to categorize things, but also the need to show off one's encyclopedic knowledge of some category and taste in judging them (this aspect has been recently parodied by the brilliant David Rees).

It's hard to come up with a meaningful "best-of" list like, say, the ten best moments of medical school. (A list of the ten worst experiences of medical school would be easier, since #10 through #2 would all involve studying for USMLE Step 1, and #1 would be taking it.) It's an interesting exercise, but when I look back on medical school up to this point, lots of moments blur together. The things I remember as the best parts are more vague, like a month where I really liked my team, or a couple of weeks where I really had a good routine going.

But the end of the year demands a list, and who am I to defy tradition? So here are the top ten things I learned this year:

Sweden_210. In Sweden, hot dog vendors use udder-like devices to provide mustard and ketchup to customers.

9. The most stressful part of an interview for residency is finding the right conference room within a gargantuan maze-like hospital.

8. The USMLE Step 2 CK is a serious test, not something to be taken lightly, but Step 2 CS is basically like a slow day in a general medicine clinic with a break for lunch.

7. Text messages are ridiculously expensive, despite being basically pure profit for carriers, and can inflate your phone bill even if you only receive them.

6. You can see the actual tools used in the Watergate break-in at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

5. For some reason, NBC has posted dozens (maybe hundreds) of clips from their 1980s game show of preposterous physical competitions, American Gladiators.

4. In Alaska, the practice of flushing wolves out of the bushes with bombs and gunning them down, known as Aerial Wolf Hunting, is considered by some to be a sport. If I were to travel there, I don't think I'd feel OK about participating in this activity. It seems a little unsporting. But you know what they say...WHEN IN NOME...

3. One of the most difficult things about growing up is realizing that Halloween is sometimes just another day; even though it's October 31st, people will schedule things like academic conferences on that day, and you can't wear a costume. 

2. When you live in Michigan, Easter can be snowier than Christmas.

1. The fourth year of medical school is terrific, because you have freedom to decide what you're going to learn and opportunities to work closely with residents and attendings, but, since you're a student, you also have some extra time to get to know patients and think about what you want to do with the rest of your life. Or to just watch American Gladiators.

January 2, 2009 in Ben Bryner | Permalink


Boo a Nome pun... ok it was funny. Good post.

Posted by: T | Jan 6, 2009 3:32:43 PM


Posted by: Imogen | Jan 9, 2009 7:43:14 AM

wow, thanks for posting links to those photos. they were amazing!

Posted by: Brian | Jan 10, 2009 1:49:33 PM

Please contact me if you are the son of Susan Bryner-Brown. You can reach me at 801-468-2704 or mhicks@slco.org.


Posted by: Michelle Hicks | Sep 16, 2009 1:38:56 PM

Regardless if you reside in an flat in the city or on a ranch in a remote region there's a system developed to meet your specific requirements.

Posted by: vigilon | Mar 14, 2011 7:47:21 AM

thx) rly funny xD

Posted by: academic writers needed | Oct 25, 2011 9:23:13 AM

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Posted by: Adam | Dec 7, 2011 12:46:37 AM

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