Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The Surgeon's Daughter

Although I wouldn't say medicine is my first calling, I certainly found the wonderful mysteries of it all endlessly fascinating. Being frankly interested in the dust-filled tomes of arcane medical text definitely helped somewhat in my studies back in school; otherwise I swear it would have been utterly tedious. After all, we learn all about the inner workings of the human body and that should be assuredly interesting to all who possess them, I assume?

Apparently I was wrong in making that assumption.

Back in medical school, we had quite a number of legacies, meaning children of surgeons and physicians who we all erroneously figured had a significant leg up when it came to studying medicine. Turns out they weren't all that different from the rest of us wandering lost in the winding shelves of medical journals and textbooks.

In fact I think they might have had a tougher time than the rest of us with all the weighty expectations heaped upon their scrawny shoulders.

Something I definitely confirmed when the surgeon I worked with brought his daughter to work. With the overabundance of medical grads coupled with the serious lack of available posts for them, things aren't looking that bright for new doctors here so it didn't surprise me to see his recently graduated daughter coming by for a tour of duty.

Though I am starting to doubt very much her sincerity.

Perhaps I might be a tad biased but never have I seen so little enthusiasm in a newly minted physician. Ever. So much so that I've dubbed her Apathetic Anna.

At the beginning of our careers - something I presume we all had a hand in choosing, I would have expected at least a reasonable level of zealousness. If you can't even muster up that teensy bit of excitement now, what about twenty miserable years down the line when inevitable apathy sets in? Even I was far more keen - and I was hardly the intense, overachieving Gungho John types way back then.

Paul : Perhaps you would like to close up the surgery? Maybe a few stitches? 
Surgeon : An excellent idea!
Nurse : Yes, try. Here's the needle. 
Anna : Umm. If I must...

Really. We practically had to cattleprod her to do so.

Talk about disinterest. Back in the days, we had house officers lining up just to complete stitches on a freaking dried banana. Not even on a patient. To earn that particular honour, you'd probably have to seriously dismember several of your own kiasu, obsessed colleagues just to get close enough to holding that needle. Everyone was just so psyched to be a doctor their first time out.

Houseman : We get to cut? Really? Really?
Houseman 2 : I wanna do it! Can I?
Medical officer : It's a corpse. Get a grip. 

And we're not even talking about the scalpel yet.

Which I doubt very much Anna would be interested in. Really, you can easily imagine Anna's disturbingly blasé expression as she dully observes the surgeon sketching detailed diagrams of the surgical procedure post-operatively. Short of several jaded socialistas that I know, I doubt anyone could look that dolefully bored.

Maybe she was watching paint dry. 

1 comment:

Anonymous Esq. said...

My guess is that she perhaps didn't have any real interest to begin with. If she's an only child, the pressure to carry on the family 'trade' will be even worse.