Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bad dick jokes

Julie, of The Internet, asks, "I think I know how other docs think of, say, orthopedic surgeons, dermatologists, neurosurgeons, etc., but what do other docs think of gynos"

Thanks for the question Julie.  Instead of answering it, I'm going to use it to delve into a marginally coherent word vomit about specialties (Although you might find your answer buried in there. Don't look too hard, it's not really there).
I think most people are at least mildly aware of the medical stereotypes that exist, the joke about the ortho being as strong as an ox and twice as smart, or the dermatologist basing an entire profession on, "if it's wet, dry it out. If it's dry, wet it."  Those are long standing, and lame, health care worker jokes, but I think that the sentiment is pretty well known in the non-medical world.  But what about Urology? The morbid, Pathology?  The all too glamorous, Gastroenterology (It even sounds gross, containing both the words, "gas" and "enter".  Which are fairly accurate descriptors of the profession)?   The what's-the-difference-between-an-optometrist-and-an-ophthalmologist, Ophthalmology? In general, this non-medical professional curiosity regarding why people choose such weird specialties can be best summarized by a patient I saw on my OB/GYN rotation who eloquently inquired, "Why you wanna be a coochie doc?"

What's hard to realize from the outside is the pros and cons of each specialty and how the organ of interest plays only a small role (unless you are an insecure urologist, then it plays a HUGE role, bro).  Even accepted premeds; people who have, ideally, become well versed in the realities of what it's like to be in medicine, are rarely chomping at the bit to get balls deep into urology.  Yet every year many medical students sign themselves up for a lifetime of awful dick jokes (like the previous two).

But as the years go by, you start to see the benefits of a certain kind of lifestyle.  You choose medicine because you like the mental gymnastics or surgery because you like to fix problems.  You figure out if you like really sick patients or would rather help patients get back on track from small bumps in their health.  You realize that plastic surgery has some of the hands down coolest procedures on earth and that OB/GYN is one of the few ways to really mix medicine and surgery for your career.

They all have their pluses and minuses and you have to figure out what sacrifices you want to make to live the life you want.  Sometimes that means evaluating Family Medicine and Ophthalmology and liking them both equally, but realizing that Ophthalmology has a better income and is less hog-tied by insurance.  It sounds like a shitty reason to pick it over something as noble as Family Medicine, but when you like them both equally, something has to tip the scales.  And in the end, you are helping people in Family Medicine and you are helping people in Ophthalmology and you have to pick one.  So, I guess that's why some people wanna be coochie docs.


Karen said...

Karen of The Internet asks: After seeing a woman give birth for the first time, did you really tell mom that she "earned" curtains in her retirement home??
- me
p.s. you said "coochie"

Julie said...

Julie of The Internet replies: Future Dr. Meat, as someone most probably old enough to be your mother, I am so pleased with this carefully-considered non-answer of yours. Your approach to this decision is to be commended. I bet your mother is so proud of you. As a thank you to your thoughtful response, I will be forwarding your blog address to my friends. I am certain that they will find your writing as humorous as I do.

Meat, M.D. said...

thanks Julie of the internet. please do! And yes Karen of the internet, I did tell her that. That shit is rough.