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Terrifying Halloween tales (that only med students will be scared by)

It’s only October, and you’re probably already feeling like the academic year has gotten away from you. All those promises to keep up with the material? Broken. Maintaining a healthy balance between life and school? Crushed. Yep, there’s nothing more horrifying than the first few months of a new medical school year. Except, perhaps, these tales of terror designed specifically to make medical students tremble with fear!

In the Mouth of Madness

It’s a dark and stormy night. Lightning crashes. The wind howls. It’s midnight, and you’re at your desk studying for tomorrow morning’s cytogenetics exam—but you still haven’t figured how a fluorescently labeled probe hybridizescytogenetic cell preparations! And you’ve just run out of coffee! And you can’t get Drake’s “In My Feelings” from looping over and over in your head! That’s when you realize…your brain has betrayed you and you’re going to blow this test and ruin your GPA!!!


The Anatomy Lesson

It’s a dark and stormy morning. You step into your first-year anatomy class ready to learn all about the intricacies of the human body. Maybe there’ll be a diagram on the board: you know, that poster with all the cartoon organs drawn to scale? Maybe there’ll even be some photos. You have your pen and notebook ready to take notes. But then your professor wheels in a gurney draped in a white sheet. He says: “You’re not going to need a pen for this lesson—you’re going to need a scalpel!” That’s when you realize…you’re going to have to cut open a cadaver and you can’t believe they still make med students do that sort of thing!


The Walking Dead

It’s a dark and stormy afternoon. You’re making your way across campus. You’ve just come from a lecture on Diagnostic and Therapeutic Reasoning, and are headed for a meeting on the Emergency Department Ambassador elective. After that, you’ll need to squeeze in an Epi practice exam. Maybe you’ll finish it in time to make it your Epidemiology and Biostatistics class. While you’re thinking about all this, you run into another medical student. You’re about to apologize when you look into their eyes and see…nothing. Their face is blank. They keep stumbling forward towards their destination, and so do you. That’s when you realize…you’ve all been turned into zombies by the unceasing psychological demands of medical school!


A Nightmare on Surgical Rounds

It’s your first morning of surgery (which is, of course, dark and stormy), and you’ve been instructed by the attending to show up early and write up as many progress notes as possible. So, you do. But there are a ton of patients, you don’t know anything about them, and the notes take forever. When you hand them over, the attending glances at them in silence—then looks up at you and chuckles sadistically: “Are you kidding me? These are worthless.” That’s when you realize…you’ve just been pointlessly belittled by a resident in front of everyone and now you’ve lost your passion for medicine!


The Silence of the Gunner

It’s a dark and stormy lecture, and your professor is trying to describe the basic immunological concepts that constitute the founding principles of modern vaccinology in humans. But there’s a student in the front row who won’t stop interrupting so that they can spout everything they think they know about immunology. And it’s not making any sense. But the professor just nods his head, assumes everyone gets it, and moves on to the next topic. And that’s when you realize…this gunner is going to ruin your medical education with their narcissistic grandstanding!


The Pit and The Pendulum and The Interview 

It’s a surprisingly bright and sunny day, and you’re sitting down for an interview with your top-choice school. You’re feeling confident. You’re wearing a sharp new outfit, you’ve been practicing in the mirror—you even managed to get more than four hours sleep last night. Everything is going great. And then the interviewer asks you: “What are you most proud of?”

You open your mouth to answer…and nothing comes out. Awkward silence stretches on. Your mind is blank. That’s when you realize…you’ve just blown your interview for your top choice school and now your medical career is over before it even began!


Do you have a terrifying tale to share with your fellow med students? Comment below and keep the spirit of Halloween alive…or should we say…dead.


onboardMD Team
The onboardMD team brings you news, insights and real-life stories from students, residents and doctors, just like you. Our staff writers aim to provide you with the inspiration and confidence to seek and deliver on the best version of you, keeping you on the right track and making good choices for your future in medicine. Have a story to share? Email us at