My med school has several ceremonies during the four years that we suffer. Whoops, I mean “attend.” Anyway, uh, they generally suck balls. They’re all mandatory because (a fact they constantly drill into our skulls, only meant to be used as psychological ammo against us) we’re professionals. Because of that, it’s important that we be forced to sit through long, boring ceremonies that are only worth whatever value we personally want to assign to them. Since we’re professionals, they won’t allow us to make decisions for ourselves on superficial things like ceremonies.
In undergrad I was an idiot because I actually attended a ceremony (graduation) that I didn’t have to. Although undergrad wasn’t anything like medical school, I still should have rolled out of bed, tuned it to CBS, and watched the Price Is Right. Instead, I had to sit through a motivational speaker and the volumes of other graduates, only to walk across the stage to shake a bunch of people’s sweaty hands that I didn’t care to shake.
(The motivational speaker–some guy named Foley–did emphatically tell us that we should go out there “get the world by the tail, and wrap it around and put it in our pocket!” Very energetic guy. I did take that snippet to heart.)
Soon after graduating, I came to realize how altruistic and giving I was. It was time to go out and singlehandedly save the world. What better way than by memorizing reams of facts for years and algorithmically regurgitating them in a banal, well-established fashion, all the while jumping through tons and tons of metaphorical flaming hoops? That is, to train to become a physician! Luckily for me, the version of the MCAT I took wasn’t one of the AAMC’s special ass-raping versions where the passages and questions have no correlation, so I did okay.
Med school started with a “white coat” ceremony. This was before we actually began our first year. You know, right before the raging torrent of mostly useless anatomy factoids started. The ceremony was okay at the time, I guess. Only when I wistfully look back do I want to piss on the ceremony. It was then at that ceremony the culmination of our very dreams were actualized. Our dreams of wearing matching short-ass white coats with a huge school logo patch stamped on the sides. I’M GONNA BE A DOCTOR…THIS PROVES IT!
Basically we were all stuffed in a small auditorium like a bunch of well-dressed cattle waiting to be branded or slaughtered or something. Everyone was so excited, hoping that the medical education ahead of us would pay off, or we’d probably end up doing something pathetic, like creating cynical but yet very humorous commentary on medical education. Anyway, there were some goofy faculty members that snapped our white coats like sheets and helped us put them on, and then there was the obligatory golf clap for each of us. I expected the coat to lengthen after I washed it, but it stayed at the short-ass setting.
Then after two years of cramming trivia and taking endless examinations on ungodly small minutiae, we had our pre-3rd year lovefest celebration meal where a bunch of smarmy attendings told us how great the upcoming year would be. They remarked, though, it would be a “sometimes difficult maturing process” (code words for “hell”). I wish they’d have been more detailed about it, like:
Psychiatry is fantastic unless you don’t like talking to violent, insane, borderline, alcoholics with attitudes! You also get to be locked in a ward with these special, multi-faceted people every day! Ask them about their mammas!
IM is enjoyable if you like rounding for 12 hours a day and being forced to learn detailed heart sounds that will still always warrant an echocardiogram! You get to be forced to try to perfect your physical exam skills even though unless you’re gonna practice in the Ngorongoro Crater you’re gonna scan, biopsy, and test everything anyway!
Neuro is cool if you enjoy more endless rounding! You know, like IM! Did I mention we have long rounds? Be ready to identify treatments for incurable neurological diseases!
Peds is a blast if you like doing countless well-baby checks, talking to bitchy parents, and examining living, squirming, screaming bacterial culture media (kids)!
Family Medicine is fun if you enjoy interviewing one patient type all day long: depressed/bipolar, overweight, DM II, hypercholesterolemic, smoker!
OB/Gyn may quite possibly become the low point of your soul’s very existence! Be excited about the specialty that tries very hard to combine the absolute worst aspects of all the rest!
Surgery is great if you enjoy fooling with leaky colostomy bags (SHIT) before breakfast and getting pimp-raped by up to several bastard surgeons on a daily basis! Oh yeah, you also get to fool with shit after breakfast as well! Make sure to dehydrate yourself because there’s no time for the retractor bitch to take a peepee break during a 12 hour overnight GI surgery!
Then we descended into hell for a year, laced with jerkoff attendings, smartass residents, know-it-all nurses, angry patients, and gunner fellow students.
Hmm…seems like after every ceremony a lot of bad stuff happens for a long time. Maybe at graduation I’ll just call in sick and watch Bob Barker.