The Cranial Nerves

The other day I was taking some students for their clinical exam and I decided to test them on their skill in examining the Cranial Nerves.

Every medical student worth his salt would have learned this wonderful mnemonic:

“Oh, oh, oh, to touch and feel a girl’s vagina, Ah heaven!” (the guy’s version)

“Oh, oh, oh, to touch and feel a guy’s virility and hams!” (the girl’s version)

“Oh, oh, oh, to touch and feel a green vegetable, Ah heaven!” (the prude’s version)


The mnemonic, of course, was to aid in remembering the 12 nerves which originate from the head (hence, ‘Cranial) and are responsible for anything from facial expressions, to the feeling when one is slapped or punch, to laughter and tears, to kissing, swallowing and sticking out your tongue!

The first 2 students breezed through the exam rather smoothly, completing the entire cranial nerves examinations in less than 10 minutes. Not so for the third who fumbled and stumbled along the way as he tried to recall what each letter of the mnemonic stands for!

And so he went in a barely audible whisper, counting his fingers, in front of the male patient who he was examining…..

“Oh, oh, oh….

to touch…to touch…er… to touch….

….err ….err…..vagina, vagina, vagina……

….heaven! yes heaven! HEAVEN!!!”


That’s the peril with mnemonics. Sometimes one ends up remembering the mnemonic but not what it stands for.:)

Fri, 280510 @ 0700

19 thoughts on “The Cranial Nerves

  1. In my A&P class for nursing school, our professor put an updated twist on it, though he was a it sheepish since there were so many females in the class. Since we were taught Spinal accessory for CN XI, the one he taught us was, “Ooh ooh ooh, to touch a a fine virgin girl’s vagina, so hot!” As I said, with all us ladies in class he was a bit sheepish, but it got us through the exam! :-)


  2. HAHA, why does this post sound so familiar😛
    i hope you’ve forgotten who was the 3rd student.
    i was taught oh oh oh to touch and feel virgin girl’s vagina, ah heaven:)


  3. what i learned was ‘oh, oh, oh, to touch a female virgin girl’s vagina, ah heaven’ (taught by senior in IMU bukit jalil)


  4. =_=” I wonder what patients think if they know these (da first two version, of course) are running through their examiners’ mind during neuro assessment but overall, good one (the third one).


  5. Oh, oh, oh, to touch and feel a girl’s vagina, Ah heaven!

    Oh, oh, oh, to touch and feel virgin’s girl’s vagina, Ah heaven!

    hehe xD


  6. I must have missed something in med school. Don’t recall this mnemonic!
    But the coagulation cascade is burnt into my mind.


  7. the version i remember replaces “Ah, heaven!” with “and hymen!”

    i guess if you’re doing a physical examination you might as well be thorough.


  8. i memorized the innocent one from marieb: On Occasion Our Trusty Truck Acts Funny – Very Good Vehicle AnyHow. wholesome fun for the whole family!


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