Spike Collar Sold Separately
Given this penchant for ceremonies, I found it odd that my school forgot to commemorate perhaps the most defining moment of our entry into the medical profession with a ceremony of its own. For what, you ask? Please ask. C’mon, just play along. Ask. OK fine whatever, I’m going to ramble on anyways:
This past Friday we had the privilege to shell out $120 (per year) to receive our very own…(cue drumroll)…shiny…slightly used…encased...
Yes, from this moment on until we decide to retire or become dermatologists, we will be slaves to these pagers and the people at the other end of the page who desire our presence or attention at ungodly hours of the night, in the most horrid of conditions, and under the most extreme amount of stress. While it may seem unfathomable to you that I am able to contain my excitement over finally receiving this key accessory to make my fake doctor costume complete, I am stunningly able to do so nonetheless.
It is with this defining moment in mind that I propose a new ceremony to be added to the clinical foundations/orientation portion of our third year curriculum: The “Is This Thing Really Supposed To Go Off At 3AM?” Pager Ceremony Extravaganza. In it, we can have naive third year medical students file into an auditorium, get in alphabetical order, and proceed to walk to the front of the class, where the ceremonial rituals begin. Rather than be fitted for a white coat to be placed over their shoulder by one of the deans of the medical school, a lá the White Coat Ceremony, students must walk past a series of pictures depicting their families, friends, the beach, and so on, only to have someone throw these pictures into a growing bonfire on stage. They are then verbally harassed by various superiors, and given that as third year medical students we are literally at the bottom of the food chain in the hospital, this cast of characters includes attending physicians, chief residents, residents, interns, fourth years, nurses, physician assistants, biostaticians, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, pharmacy residents, pharmacy interns, pharmacy techs, candy stripers, janitors, volunteers, the patients themselves, their families, friends, distant cousins, and, finally, the homeless people who live down the street. Lastly, each student receives their pager, which is firmly bolted to their waist. They then must listen to the annoying ring of the pager while receiving the words of wisdom that were given to me this afternoon, by the chief of surgery at the hospital I will be working at, regarding pagers:
“I firmly believe that everyone has a predetermined number of pages they can receive in a lifetime, and once you pass that limit, you die.”
With that, the ceremony is complete.
This post is in honor of the page I just received from a friend that startled me so much (because I wasn’t expecting anything) that I almost fell backwards out of my chair.
(Note to self: stop being so overdramatic for next post.)