Archive for April, 2009

Hi, my name’s Phoebe, I’m a 5th year medical student. Do you mind if I come in with the doctor and sit in on your consultation/procedure/surgery/birth today?

Now, before you answer, I’d like to gently remind you of a few things that may just influence your decision.

1. This is a teaching hospital. Teaching hospitals tend to do a lot of, well, teaching. And this includes teaching of medical students. If you would prefer not to have a medical student present, don’t come to a teaching hospital.
2. You are a public patient. This means taxpayers are funding your stay. This also means you are subject to the conditions of the hospital, including the presence of medical students. If you do not like this you are welcome to attend one of our private hospitals at complete cost to you. Alternatively, you can pay 70% tax, thus allowing you to stay in hospital in complete luxury and comfort. It’s your choice.
3. I will be your doctor in 1.5 years. The more patients deny me entry, the less clinical experience I get and the more likely it is I’ll make mistakes. You’d better hope you’re not the patient coming in when this inevitably happens.

Thankyou for your co-operation.


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On a slightly more serious note, I’d like to share with you my little synopsis of life as a medical student, particularly as a medical student on birth suite…

I’m in the way. I’m bothersome, troublesome, annoying.

I have no name, other than ‘the student’. I should not expect a polite greeting, for I am useless, hopeless, redundant and in the way.

I have no purpose, no place, no rights, no opinions. The best I can hope for is to keep out of everyone’s way.

I am the doormat. I must not speak up, must not question, lest the mighty status quo be shaken. I am the pond scum at the bottom. And I must remember this always. And I should get out of the way.

I am always rude, pushy, impolite and inconsiderate. And sister must remind me of this always. All patients must know about my spectacular insolence, my supreme audacity. How dare I enter a patient’s room, on any occasion. I am a travesty and an embarrassment. And I’m in the way.

I am always at fault. I must apologise to sister for my frequent indiscretions. These things happen because I get in the way.

I am no more a future doctor than a waste of space; no more a pending professional than a present nuisance. I’m a burden to everyone. So I stay out of the way.

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My dad recently gave Keags and I a cutlery set. And not just any cutlery set, a really fancy-schmancy, stainless steel set in a decorative black box. Mum and dad got themselves one too. Thinking it a rather special gift, and something that must’ve come from some equally fancy-schmancy cutlery set shop, I asked dad where he got it from. Unflinchingly, he explained he got them free after spending $800 on cow de-wormer.

Dad knows a good deal when he sees one.

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2 months since my last post! How terribly shameful for a self-professed lover of blogging (or perhaps, just a lover of my own voice, in whatever form it takes).

I must say, I’ve been inspired recently by Nathan’s admirable commitment to his blog. Never have I seen someone who updates with such impressive regularity and speed. Kudos to you. The entire online community is indebted to you for the great amounts of time you so graciously filled for us, and in such entertaining fashion.

And if I may, I’d like to take a little inspiration from Mr Campbell, in renewing my commitment to blogging. His ingenious method of capturing short snippets from everyday life is one that I would like to road test myself. And, as those of you who frequent my blog know well (well, all three of you), writing succinctly is something I struggle with – I would much rather be writing a lengthy, Moses-esque sermon (written in long, Paulian sentences, much like this one) than a concise post with an obvious, relevant message. Well, no more! Let the blogging begin!

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