The world of medicine is like a bubble. A lot of people THINK they know what goes on there, but unless you're down in the trenches it's unlikely you do. So here is my semi-anonymous blog, here to tell you what really goes on in the life of a medical resident.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pimp of the Week

In case I haven't adequately explained the term "pimping", it is the process by which anyone senior to you in the medical hierarchy (an attending, a senior resident or hell... anyone from the janitorial staff) asks you a series of questions getting consecutively harder until you get one (or many) wrong. At this point you are likely mocked and the very basis of your medical qualification is called into question. At my medical school we also called this process "shame-based learning", as it was often done in front of a group of your peers who were likely to watch with barely disguised glee because hey... it's not being directed at them.

So this week the Pimp of the Week award goes to the staff anesthesiologist (haven't I complained about this rotation enough?) with whom I worked on Tuesday. He was older than dirt, and was likely around when anaesthesia still consisted of hitting people on the head with a blunt object. Suitably, he spent the entire day pimping me on medical history. Yes, you heard me right folks. The freaking HISTORY of medicine. When was the first anesthetic given? When was the first laparotomy performed successfully? What was the first local anaesthetic used? What country successfully pioneered the gas induction method? It was like Jeopardy if Alex Trebek suddenly decided to don OR greens and a funny surgical cap.

Of course, since my knowledge of medical history is somewhat lacking (read: nonexistant) not only did I not deserve my medical degree, but it was undoubtably due to bribery that I managed to pass my board exams. I didn't have the heart to tell this guy that not only is there no medical history on the board exams, but that it isn't really taught in med schools anymore.

For now, I'm a little more concerned with learning the medicine that will allow me to not kill people TODAY. I'll worry about the historical stuff some other time.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duuude. I hear you. And let us not forget the fun of receiving an open palm to the forehead when you are, apparently, answering incorrectly.

Oh, wait. That was me.

--Vitamin K.

12:16 PM


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