ndab Ah Yes, Medical School: January 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ask The Fake Doctor 6

Breathing out…now. Having just returned last night from my last whirlwind trip around America doing interviews for residency, I admit to achieving something pretty remarkable. After all, I did not think it was possible to watch Futurama on the Cartoon Network for 4 straight hours, but thanks to the groundbreaking satellite technology available in today’s planes, such things are now possible and can be realized, as I did last night. I’d also like to say that I have reached some grand epiphany about how to rank the programs I have seen, where I would like to go, and what I would like to be doing, but that would involve me actually having some clarity about my life which, as you might have already inferred, will not be happening anytime soon.

Since it is pretty clear that I have absolutely nothing interesting to write about these days, I figured I might as well turn the spotlight over to you, my glorious readers, and go through some of your delightful fan mail. Apologies in advance for the massive length of this post (it has been a while, after all), as well as to the letter-writers I have not yet had the chance to reply to. And if anyone has any bright ideas on where to go for residency, I’d really like to know.


So, I am 28, and all of a sudden I got the urge to go to medical school. I am a computer programmer, and I think that I’d be much better as a doctor. Do you think that 28 is too old? I found your blog when I googled medical school. I’d like to hear your opinion.
-M.

I have a few answers to this, and I’ll let you decide which one you prefer to take:
1) There is an adage that says “It’s never too late to start something new”, and that advice applies to medical school as much as anything. That said, you better be damn sure this is what you want. Lets ignore all of the other commitments you’re signing up for and do the simple math first (assuming you haven’t done any premed requirements yet):
Doing a post-bacc: 1.5 years
Medical School: 4 years
Residency: 3 years (minimum)
So that’s at least 8.5 years, which is an optimistic assessment, meaning you’re going to be 36 or so before you are even finished with your training. Now, for many people, including a fair number of classmates of mine who are as old or older (the oldest in my class was 37 years old when she started) than you, that is not too big of a deal. Personally, I’d be frightened by the prospect of not even being finished with training by the time I am approaching 40, but that is just me. So you have to just be honest with yourself and decide whether you really want it, and if so, then go for it.
2) If you start medical school at 28, that means you will not be able to wear your long white coat/chick magnet until you are at least 32, which seems like wayyyy too long for me.
3) Wait, you want to drop computer programming to go to…medical school?!? Having recently visited the Google campus, I strongly suggest you send them your resume and do the same before making this decision. Christ.

You get mistaken for Matthew Perry? Be still my heart! Not only a brilliant fake doctor, but good looking to boot! Natalie Portman doesn't know what she's missing.
-K.

OK, I don’t actually have anything to add here. I just wanted to make sure everyone saw this email. It’s a great thing that women out there think of me as such an amazing sex symbol, desired by women everywhere, the modern Greek God, exuding muscles and hotnes-wait, what was that? You want me to read the next email? OK fine.

Are you SURE you're not gay?
-Anonymous

That’s more like it.

Whoever created this site, or writes all of these things, the doctor, you're pretty pathetic. You spend your free time bitching about a "television show" or "Hollywood." It's a show. If they were to be realistic, that would be freaking boring! People don't watch shows like Grey’s Anatomy or the medical stuff.. well maybe some…apparently you do, just to bash it…but the majority of people watch shows because they like them, not to get "facts." You might as well bash every single show and movie then, saying those situations are unrealistic and fake, that this 'hollywood' stuff would never really happen.. lol it's television!! Get over it!! I probably will totally forget to check this site.
-Anonymous

Umm.. doctor?? Where do you get all this time to watch the show...and bash so much on it???? lol. If you're a doctor, then you spend your free time horribly…use your power to prescribe and prescribe yourself.. some uumm,, what's it called that we all have?? Oh, right, a life. It's TV Drama. Not reality TV. Ass. With all the med school, you sure as hell lack a lot of common sense.. No one watches TV shows for facts, we watch to be entertained. If you hate it THAT bad…why do you continue to watch it?? lol. NICE.
-A.

Wow. I seemed to have hit a nerve here, and this is just a sampling of the fair number of hate mail I have received regarding my take on Grey’s Anatomy. I never thought my innocent attempt to provide some mildly comedic observations about a show that I personally can’t stand would set off this degree of rage, hatred, and general contempt for my misery of a life. I’m reminded of a story that was told to me once, a story about two brothers. One was very serious and studious, while the other was somewhat of a trouble-maker. One day the two brothers were arguing about something non-trivial (the details of which escape me, and for that I apologize), when the serious brother started lecturing the trouble-maker about appropriate behavior and what is or is not acceptable for all. The trouble-maker countered about the necessity of comedy and humor in one’s life and the need to pick on third parties to make a point or just for laughs. This argument went on and on, until the wee hours of the night. After many hours, the trouble-maker shoved a pie in the face of the serious brother, who subsequently discovered that pie does in fact taste good, even when splattered on one’s face. Now, what is the moral of this story (a story, I should add, that I have spent a whopping 30 seconds concocting in my head)? It’s that you are a douchebag. (For a further elaboration on this idea, check out my response a few emails down.)

Someone should design a cardboard cutout of a porn-star bending over with a hole in it. You could place it over the patient and pretend you're examining Jenna Jameson instead of Old Man Winter.
-Anonymous

Holy crap, this is a brilliant idea. Even Jenna is giving it two fingers up! Or is she practicing her rectal exam technique? Let's go with this idea. I could open up an entire line of medical fantasy diagnostic tools. Instead of that sterile white paper that gets rolled over the exam beds, the paper would have pictures of naked women on them. Bags to place over the faces of ugly women before doing breast exams. Speculums shaped like-…hmm…why do I feel like I am already getting sued before even finishing that sentence?


Classic. I've never met a psychiatrist (or neurologist for that matter) who was balanced (insert Three Stooges noises here). Neither should be permitted to reproduce. Have you ever interacted with their offspring? One word - oy.
-P.J.

P.J. brings up a fascinating point about psychiatrists. I was fortunate enough to attend elementary schools, junior high schools, and high schools with a fair amount of doctors’ offspring, and after interacting with many of these kids I have come to a similar conclusion: it is virtually certain that all children of psychiatrists are fucked up in the head. This is a remarkably reproducible phenomenon. I have no idea why this is the way it is, but I would imagine that these children are predisposed to being weird simply by virtue of their having the genes of their freak parents. If anyone has any bright ideas about this I’m sure someone has a Nobel Prize waiting for you.

Got the MCAT scores back today... Went searching on google for "MCAT Retarded". Got this blog. Thanks for cheering me up.
-Anonymous

Since I’ve already said my piece about the MCAT, I don’t really have much more to add to this other than the fact that nothing makes me more proud than knowing that my blog is the first item listed when one googles “MCAT Retarded”. I feel like I have truly made it.

After reading through some more of your old posts and seeing that you put on tefillin, I realize that you might be able to shed some light on the challenges of being an observant (to any degree) Jew in medical school.
-S.A.

Sadly, it is not that easy to be observant and be a medical student (or resident, or even a real doctor for that matter). The first two years are no problem, as your schedule is just like it would be in any other graduate school that has class from Monday to Friday. Save for the occasional asshole that schedules a final exam on Yom Kippur, there are no major issues to be had. However, once you start third year and are expected to work in the hospital six days a week (at a minimum), finding time to put on tefillin in the morning becomes rather challenging, especially during some rotations when “morning” means 4 AM. While I do not keep Shabbat, I would imagine this is also a challenge since call schedules are constantly shifting and it is virtually impossible to always have Friday night to Saturday night off every week. That said, I am pretty sure there is some sort of Judaic teaching that involves the responsibilities of being a doctor, such that physicians are absolved of following the all the Jew rules as long as they are doing something to save lives, etc., although I could not find a good link to an article that explains this in more detail. Also, do not think that it is all bad, since being Jewish and in medical school has its perks. Namely that all Jewish girls have been bred for thousands of years to desire and mate with Jewish doctors, so you are pretty much guaranteeing yourself success in that department. Unless you are me and you have no game whatsoever…but hell even sometimes it still works out, so you never know.

Quit being a fag and get used to it. I hate the fact that you lost your humanity and are laughing at someone who undoubtedly is outcast by assholes like you. He is not a 'schizophrenic patient'...he is a human being who lives with the unfortunate affliction of schizophrenia. Dickhead.
affectionately,
F.U.
-Anonymous

Personally, I think my use of the phrase “schizophrenic patient” pales in comparison with your derogatory use of “fag” to denote my apparently obvious homosexual tendencies (obvious to everyone but me, it seems – see above) and your subsequent attempt to equate homosexuality with being an “asshole”, but can you really expect me to have anything intelligent to say when I have a penis on my head? And why am I trying to have an intellectual conversation with you when I should be spending my time playing with the dick currently resting on my head? These are the things that keep me up at night (whereas, it should be noted, my dickhead usually doesn’t rise until the morning). I think I’m done here. Wait…DICKHEAD! OK now I’m done.

"slutty nurse from peds?" Jerkoff.
-Anonymous
Oh, the humanity! Oh, the horror! How dare I generalize a legend about one incredibly slutty nurse from the pediatrics ward to the entirety of nursing? Where do I find the gall to even remotely suggest that I was laughing at someone less fortunate than I (ignoring the fact that if you actually read carefully, I am not doing any such thing)? I am so rude, so insensitive. In this tradition, let me also add bluntness to my list of qualities. What do I mean by this? Here we go:

IT’S A FUCKING JOKE, PEOPLE.

Man that felt good. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to, as you so subtly recommended, go jerk off to the picture of the slutty nurse before laughing at a few retards and bashing formulaic televised medical dramas. While I’m away, will you people please do us all a favor and remove the rods from your asses? Thanks.


And, finally, speaking of rods, a tie for the last word…

Babes, no need for pliers. Men can usually extract anything from their rectums using their own bare hands and just a tad bit of lubricant. Um ... I mean ... not that I would know anything about any of that ... I've never shoved anything in any man's ass ... nor extracted anything ... wait a minute ... I'll just be quiet now ...
-F.B.C.

Hey,
Think yourself lucky, I'm a vet in England. A finger? Try up to your shoulder in cow! And humans don't try to kick, bite or gore you! Oh and on sheep we dont bother with gloves.
-R.

Cheers!