Thursday, April 13, 2006


A user's guide to doctors

The medical profession. What’s it like? Grave but kindly Kildare types trudging through the gloaming? Dashing young bestubbled lads sprinting down corridors, ER-style, their jaws set grimly and their minds on nothing but the saving of lives?

Arse to all that. I might as well come clean here: I have inside knowledge of the profession, and a more fractious, faction-ridden collection of backbiters and fudge-tunnel-shafters (metaphorically speaking) I have yet to come across. There are of course several species of the genus doctor, to wit:

Surgeons. The most macho of the specialties, surgery’s proponents are arrogant sods to a man, and most of them are indeed men, as it’s the most macho of the specialties. Did I mention how macho it is? Laying waste the integrity of the flesh wherever they find it, this lot believe there is no human ill but that it cannot be banished through brute excision. The term ‘bedside manner’ has no meaning to them except in a sexual context, and they regard politeness to colleagues and, God forbid, patients as unspeakably gay. Any woman who breaks through into their holy ranks is automatically assumed to be of the Sapphic persuasion. A subspecies, orthopaedic surgeons, comprises palaeolithic throwbacks who lacked the qualifications to become car mechanics. A qualified surgeon in Britain revels in the title Mr rather than Dr, as a result of the specialty’s origins in carpentry in the Middle Ages. They hate physicians, radiologists, psychiatrists and anaesthetists, and are regarded with reciprocal contempt. Bastards.

Physicians. Known as internists in the US, these are the boffins of the profession. They think so, anyway. Essentially they deal with every part of the malfunctioning body that does not involve the genitalia and does not lend itself to removal with a knife. Masters of diagnosis, they often place this skill above all else, including the ability to heal, and have been known to spend so long arguing over the medical equivalent of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin that their patients have died of old age in the mean time. Their middle grade, the registrar, is the most overworked being on earth and is prone to screaming at you in the middle of the night. They hate anyone who refers patients to them, and have a particular loathing for psychiatrists and accident and emergency doctors. Swine.

Paediatricians. I don’t have much to say about them as they’re generally quite nice. They have an unfortunate tendency to have their homes vandalised by illiterate vigilantes, and are usually quite deaf by the age of 35 as a result of exposure to crying children all day. They don’t hate anybody. Likeable sorts.

Anaesthetists. Usually people with no social skills (but see pathologists below), these rather odd types prefer their patients unconscious. A smug crowd, really, they sit around in the operating theatre reading magazines while all hell is breaking loose, and never fail to sneer at their surgical colleagues’ errors. They love to cancel operations at a moment’s notice for the most trivial of reasons, such as a surgeon’s poor grammar in a patient’s case notes. They appear to hate surgeons but are probably really repressing homosexual urges. Smarmy slime.

Psychiatrists. These are the misfits of the profession, people who spent years at medical school paralysed by insecurity and self-doubt and don’t like to touch human flesh. They’re hilariously touchy about being confused with psychologists, and about being told that their discipline is not as scientific as others in medicine. They burn out fast, and have a high prevalence of substance abuse and sexual perversion. They hate surgeons, A&E doctors and psychologists. Freaks.

Pathologists. Closet necrophiliacs, especially their subspecies forensic pathologists, these whey-faced denizens of the crypt lack even the most basic human empathy and interpersonal skills, and practise a bizarre form of ‘horse-has-bolted’ medicine. They think they’re safe from being sued as most of their patients are already dead, but recently received a few kicks up the collective jacksie in this regard. They hate (and envy) any type of doctor who gains the trust of patients as they by definition are unable to do so. Weirdos.

Radiologists. These chaps and ladies are wannabe surgeons who are too squeamish actually to break the flesh in order to see what’s inside, and therefore view our internal workings through the cowardy-custard world of high technology. They are trained to refuse every request made of them as a matter of course, which makes them most unloved. They have a penchant for illicit sex with their radiographers in the darkroom. They hate everyone and are hated in turn by everyone except paediatricians, who hate nobody. Shits.

Obstetricians/gynaecologists. I mean, come on, really. Spending your working life wrist-deep in chuff? They hate themselves, and fear everyone else. Perverts.

General practitioners (family doctors in the US). No, I’ll have no Harold Shipman wisecracks here, thank you very much. GPs are a pretty mixed bunch, more reflective of outside society than the other specialties. Some are noble upholders of Hippocrates’s tradition, others are utter dross. They hate, love, laugh and weep as do the lumpenproletariat. Normal people.

So there you have it. Cut out and keep this helpful guide, and consult it next time you consider having that twinge investigated. You might think twice.

And no, I’m not telling you which of the above I am.

I wonder what Doctors Maroon, Evil, McCrumble and Feelgood have to say for all this....?
You're probably already familiar with this joke, but just in case:

At a medical convention, a male doctor and a female doctor start eyeing each other. The male doctor asks her to dinner and she accepts. As they sit down at the restaurant, she excuses herself to go and wash her hands. After dinner, one thing leads to another and they end up in her hotel bedroom. Just as things get hot, the female doc interrupts and says she has to go and wash her hands. Once she comes back, they go for it.

After the sex session, she gets up and says she is going to wash her hands. As she comes back the male doc says "I bet you are a surgeon."

She confirms and asks how he knew.

"Easy, you're always washing your hands."

"That's very clever" she says, "I bet you're an anesthesiologist".

"Wow, that's correct, how did you guess?"

"I didn't feel a thing"

(swiped from Joke Mail's Medical Files)
The term ‘bedside manner’ has no meaning to them except in a sexual context

So surgeons prefer to do it on the night-table then? That must be interesting, especially on hospital ones which presumably have castors.
Hey, Mr. Eater. I had an enormous comment to put here, but it was growing out of all decent comment-box size and so I turned it into a post over on my site. You turned a postless day into a posted one. Thank you, sir.
Hum...what are you? Weirdo?
Binty: as far as I know only Dr McCrumble is a medical doctor, unless his site is predicated on an awesome lie.

Kim: good one! Hadn't heard it before. There's another one I've just remembered: how do you spot the gynaecologist at a cocktail party? He's the one picking up peanuts with his thumb and ring finger.

Philip: I was thinking more of their preparatory technique while not yet in bed. It consists of saying "brace yourself."

Sam: great post, and worth a re-read.

FMC: yes. That is to say, no. Maybe.
My brother's an osteopath. He's like the Napoleon Dynamite of the family. Do they have their own category?
we call them General Practitioners in the U.S.

you are a forensic pathologists..

this would explain your complete lack of social skill and over-all retreat from society.

you are too funny.
and.. what is up with this?

"Please do not swear"

i enjoy gratuitous use of the word fuck.

don't you?

I second Sarah. They are "family doctor" or "general practitioner" or "physician" in the US.

Interns, however, are usually journeyman doctors, I believe. They've earned their degree, but are still paying their dues. Insane hours, relatively low pay (low for a doctor, anyway).

For some reason your list seemed like a post-modern Chinese Zodiac.
You know, the ones you find on the flip-side of your restaurant placemat? Dragon should marry a Rat but doesn't get along with Monkey?
In America, they use ped- instead of paed- for their children doctor designations. And also for pederasts (child molesters) and pedicures. As with your paediatrician vandalism link, the nomenclature causes no end of confusion and there are perfectly innocent foot massagers rotting in prison for taking their nieces to the doctor to have their plantar warts frozen off. Worse, the real perverts are taking advantage of the muddle and have taken to planting toe-nail clippings in swing-parks to divert attention away from themselves.

A scandal is afoot in this country. We need a physician of your pedigree and footly ... interests to help heel us and set our toenail artisans free! We need you Foot Eater!
'as far as I know only Dr McCrumble is a medical doctor, unless his site is predicated on an awesome lie.

Tsk. I am a scientist. I am incapable of predicating a lie. I do, however, collaborate with medics. Many is the day we have jauntily discussed the relevance of subjective diagnosis beside evidence-based medicine.
We real Doctors hate medicos. Like a broken record, whenever we gather socially, we always say

"...fucking medics, it's all looking up peoples arses. If medicine had advanced like what we have, you'd be able to grow back new limbs that had been severed, cure cancer, etc. etc. on and on....."

Boy, we really do hate you.
All of you.
That was meant for Eater, not you McCrumble.
Although if I'm honest, yep, we hate all medics. We can't help it. Why o why isn't there a TV program where George Clooney improves manufacturing techniques, reducing unit costs while lengthening service life eh?
Doc McC - Scientists incapable of lying? What about the Korean stem-cell research dude then?
Binty - hold on there. I said that I was incapable of lying. I was not speaking for the whole of the scientific community. Some high flying Korean scientist with enough pressure up his jacksy to make complete gobbledegook come out of his mouth is in a different league.
You papered bastards just keep rubbing it in, right?
Us D student secondary schoolers with no college, we're just the tits on the cow of life, ain't we?
You know what? I'm going to steal an honorary title, you figs. Call me SafeTdoctor from now on, or I'll bitch and moan to no end!
Dr Maroon: you, sir, are a knave and a scoundrel. I will exact revenge for what you have said.

Apologies for not replying individually to all your comments, but I've just got in from a long weekend in Brussels and I'm shagged out.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Best regards from NY! » » »
Cool blog, interesting information... Keep it UP » »
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