ndab Ah Yes, Medical School: Big Pimpin

Monday, October 27, 2003

Big Pimpin

So I learned a new word in medical school today: pimping. Now I'm sure you must be thinking, "But Fake Doctor, if anyone should know about pimping, being a pimp, or encapsulating all that is pimpdom, it's you!" Alas, I don't mean that kind of pimping. For you see, pimping in the medical sphere refers to the process of having your superior publicly embarrass you in front of your peers by demonstrating that you don't really know jack shit. My first encounter with this pimping came today, in my hemotology/oncology bone marrow transplant selective. Last week our head doc gave us assignments on stuff to research regarding acute myelogenous leukemia (oooo big words!), and I had to look up information on how a patient presents with AML along with one other guy in our five-person class. I casually looked things up and figured I'd be able to bullshit enough to get by, but I didn't get the memo that you can't just bullshit your way through medical school like you did in every other phase of your educational life.

The doc was his usual self at first (mid-30s hem/onc doctor who's really damn smart), asking me and the other classmate to tell us what we knew regarding how a patient presents. So I started saying things about how the patient might have intermittent fever, be pale, anemic, stuff like that. However, I was less than prepared for his set of questions, all of which began with "OK so tell me the mechanism behind how _____ is a symptom of AML." I managed to answer some of it, but i believe he mentioned something about how i scored a 50%, and that this 'pimping' (i.e. Socratic method) should increase my anxiety level so I'd work more. Umm. Yeah. Fuck.

After noticing how he didn't pull this shit with anyone else in the class, I immediately assumed he was an anti-semite out to get another defenseless Jew. Of course, I later found out he too is Jewish, so that argument didn't hold. After interviewing one of his AML patients and reconvening with the rest of the group who did the same, he nicely said he hoped he wasn't being too harsh, and that he's just sarcastic. I said no problem - being the middle child of two domineering sisters has taught me a lot about verbal abuse. I laughed it off, and he then proceeded to pick on just about everyone else also (although definitely not to the same degree, says me). He was making fun of appearances and stuff, no big deal. Class over, I survived, no problem.

I learned two things from this:
1) Do not be intimidated by these people - even if they try their best to embarrass you, they are really just checking to see if you have any balls.
2) If you sense the guy is a wiseass in the first place, be sure to get in the last word - going down the elevator after class, I was talking college football with the doc, whos a huge fan of a school that was a rival to my clearly superior undergraduate institution. I mentioned that I followed my team but they've been losing a lot lately. Doc mentioned that he was at the last time my school's football team was at the Rose Bowl. Conversation went something like this:
"Yea I was there the last time your school was at the Rose Bowl."
"Oh ya? That was my freshman year, about 5 years ago."
"Oh no, the one before that."
"That was at least 50 years ago though..."

(OK so it's not that great an insult, and I didn't even realize it could be interpreted as an insult until after I said it - the guys in his 30s, not his 70s - because I really thought the last time my school was in the Rose Bowl was that long ago. But fuck it. I'm pimping now.)