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Showing posts from November, 2010

Old person-a-rama!

One thing about my job is the old people. Here are some observations about old people. (Don't get me wrong, I defected FROM paediatrics to do Emergency Med. I like old people).

1. Some old people can talk a LOT. Especially if you ask them about what they've been eating, or who does their grocery shopping. When I listen to an old person talk I can't help but think of the Simpsons episode where Grampa Simpson tells a really long boring story as an old-person weapon:

We can't bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m'shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where…

Pen V. Stethoscope

I have nearly finished reading ‘The Pen and the Stethoscope’, an anthology of writing by doctors, edited by Leah Kaminsky. The book is approximately half non-fiction and half fiction. I admit that I enjoyed the non-fiction more- there was a predominance of doctors writing about their early experiences as interns and residents. The stories were often familiar to me- a missed diagnosis of leaking AAA, the frustration of continuing intensive care on people who should be allowed to die in peace. But I was thoroughly impressed at how exciting the stories are- these doctors can really write!

I think that the early years of doctoring- internship and residency- provides the richest fodder for writing. In these early years you are most acutely aware of the chasm between your experiences as a doctor and your previous non-medical experiences. You are innocent enough to be properly awed or disgusted by things. The junior doctors are also the ones most often put in ridiculous situations trying…