Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This week I am on GUM. That’s Genito-Urinary Medicine for the uninitiated. (Or willies and lady gardens, for my 13 year old sister).

It’s surprisingly ok. I mean, asking people all the nitty-gritty about their sex lives is not my top activity, but I can think of worse. Like scraping my eyeballs out with a spoon. It will always be worse for the patient – they have to answer the probing questions, and then lie back and have their intimate regions probed – so for that I can be grateful, and do my best to make it as easy as possible. Although so far I haven’t seen a single man who I felt sorry for. They’ve all been cheating bastards, and most of women I’ve seen have a cheating bastard at the root of their problems too.

I did have a very interesting conversation with my father about it all. He asked how my day had been, and I told him about sexual history taking. He then said ‘But it wasn’t you asking those questions, was it?’ He just doesn’t quite understand the whole ‘my daughter is going to be a doctor in 9 months’ thing. He’s going to have to change his whole view, because I’m his little girl, who he helps out of trouble, who’s now going to be a real professional. And being non-medical, the glamour surrounding doctors has never been shattered for him. You know what I mean, that view of the doctor being a wise and learned man, with great knowledge and compassion, the ability to save lives with half a biro, break bad news with a soft voice and kind eyes, to usher people into and out of life with the same elegant, aloof manner. Ha! As if it were like that… Sometimes I truly think that is what the patients expect, and it’s impossible. Sometimes I think we expect that of ourselves. That’s also impossible.

With my mother, the glamour didn’t last very long out of occupational therapy college… She and her colleagues consider most junior doctors (and some seniors!) to be totally incompetent. Which is a little harsh, because in reality we’re just doing our best in an impossible job.


Marysienka said...

Yeah there are a lot more men who cheat on their wives than we think... and probably more women too, but men score a lot better on this one...
Just wondering, do you think your sister will want to go in medicine?

I can't have a real conversation with my dad about medicine. Even though we are friends with several GOOD and AMAZING doctors, my dad has a pessimist view of medicine in general (doctors, drugs...). Although I suspect he generalizes his view of psychiatrists (which is not a good one -- my dad's a psychologist btw) to the whole medical community. And he also loves to provoke me on medicine ;)... until mom has to intervene hehehe!

So, what are specialty preferences now?

Anna said...

my little sister is adamant she won't touch medicine... but is showing a predilection for medical projects at school. at the moment she's building a skeleton! i didn't decide until i was 17, so there's time yet. although with the medical profession going the way it is, i would not encourage her to go into it. which says a lot about my views on medicine!

i think i still want to do radiology. or maybe i'l come round to general practice again! i think it'll all become far more clear during my first year, when i'm out there doing it. i really really hope anyway.

the little medic said...

Just want to say I really like your blog, Its a shame I didn't discover it earlier. I'm a 5th year med student too. I've just spent a while reading some of your posts and its been really interesting, and in some respects, quite similar to some of my experiences.
Anyway, keep it up and good luck!