Posted tagged ‘medical students’

I’ll Just Say So Long

September 6, 2009

        Julius finished his rotation Friday.  My song of the day after he left was Tim O’Brien’s ‘Look Down That Lonesome Road.’  The tag line at the end is quite apropos.  It goes, ‘I hate to say good bye, so I’ll just say so long.’  Julius was the best med student we’ve had come through Harvey County in a long time.  I couldn’t say good bye, so I just said so long. 

        Besides, he’ll be back.  Believe it or not, Harvey County has gone plum modern.  We used to do all the I.C.U. work ourselves but now we have a couple of intensivists.  I knew Julius wanted to get into that kind of work, so I sent him over to see them to see if he could do a rotation with them late this fall.

        Our intensivists are two sharp guys we somehow lured here from the Mayo Clinic.  When they first showed up in town I realized my days as the local king of the bubble tests had come and gone.  (For those that don’t know the term, my son coined it.  In grade school when they had a standardized test I asked him if he was scared, and he said, “No sweat Daddy.  All you gotta do is fill in the right bubbles.”) 

        When I ran into this duo, I remembered my father’s counsel.  “Son, in this business, you’re gonna run into people smarter than you.  When you do, don’t be jealous;  go make friends with them.” I did just that.

        They are an odd duo with odd names.  Zellington and Grinzler.  Sounds like a World Wide Wrestling team, huh?  They are like an Abbott and Costello comedy routine except they got their punch lines out of ‘Harrison’s Text of Medicine.’  One, Zell,  is short and uh… stocky.  The other, Grinz, is tall and does his best to be austere in spite of Zell’s antics.

        When I sent Julius to ask them about doing a rotation with them he was concerned.  “I don’t know, Doc.  They’re from the Mayo Clinic.  Sounds pretty high powered to me.  Will they take me on?”

         “No problem, son.  When they ask you what your objective is for this rotation, just say, “I hear there is a lot of debate in Harvey County as to which one of you guys is smarter.  Dr. Bibey asked me to find out and report back to him.”

        Julius did as I said. Grinz took one look at him then said, “Smart ass,” and signed.  Zell grabbed the paper out of his hands and signed it above the line where Grinz did.   

         I also had Julius negotiate for Friday at lunch off so he could eat with me on the ‘Starving Medical Student Foundation.’  The boy did good.  We have an appointment at Chang’s Chinese the first Friday in November.  Like Tim O’Brien sang, “I hate to say good bye, so I’ll just say so long.”

       See you soon, Julius.

Dr. B

Here’s the link to Tim O’Brien’s tune:


Med Student Julius Comes to Harvey County

July 13, 2009

        Y’all the Internet is a miracle.  A West Virginia med student named Julius got to reading my blog, and we began to exchange ideas. The next thing I know he asked if he could do a rotation in Harvey County.  We have had a number of med students from my old alma mater, Sandhills U., so I told him if his school would approve the elective, we’d be glad to take him on.  

         Here’s a synopsis of the proposal I sent the University.  (And they still said yes!)

       To the Dean,

        Yes sir, we would be more than happy to take on Julius for his fourth year Community Medicine rotation.  I am an adjunct Professor at Sandhills University, so we have a well established curriculum.  I feel I must outline my expectations before the rotation starts.  Julius has written me several times, and I am confident he will have no problem with compliance, but I want to be sure future students understand the Harvey County Doctor Gig Rule Book before they apply.

        1.  All students must treat my patients with respect and dignity without fail.  This is the number one rule and they can not break it and expect to pass the rotation.

        2.  The student must never forget Temple’s Law numer one.  (A woman is pregnant until proved otherwise.)  To date, I have never x-rayed a pregnant woman and we aren’t gonna start now.  (Thanks Dr. Peter Temple)

       3.  The student must follow me every where I go.  You can teach them about rhabdomyolysis as well as I can, but I hope to show them how to survive in a country town for many decades and stay out of trouble.  If I go to the office, they must go there also.  If I read, they read; if I sleep they can sleep.  (The only complaint I ever got was there was no rest for the weary.) 

        If I play music at the Nursing Home they must help haul sound equipment.  If they sing at all we’d love for them to join in.  I believe music is good for a Doctor’s soul.  When I eat breakfast at Harvey Billiard and Bowl they must join me.  The liver mush and egg sandwich is excellent. 

        We will eat lunch at Chang’s Chinese every Friday at least if there is not an emergency.  Meals will be covered by the ‘Starving Medical Student Foundation.’  We will provide a complimentary lipid profile at the end of the rotation.  However, in spite of the country diet, so far I’ve run all of them so hard no one has turned up with dyslipidemia.

        4.  The student is allowed two fine Cuban cigars per week.  Beyond that I don’t want to know.

        5.   Julius will be here in July, and must attend the office picnic.  It will be held at ‘Six Flags Over Harvey County,’ our local amusement park.  We will have hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, sweet tea, and ice cold Co-Colas.   He must concede Dr. B is but a large child, and play one round of Putt-Putt and ride in the bumper boats and shoot water pistols at the other children.  (and take extra care not to aim at their eyes)   

        (An aside here.  The man who started Putt-Putt was gonna call it Putt-Hut but got in a long line at the bank.  While he waited on his loan officer he changed his mind.  The rest is a franchise history.)

        The student will split a large bucket of range balls with Dr. B.  The go-carts are optional, and he must not make fun of Doc for no longer getting in the batting cage.  My eye surgery went fine, but a 95 mph fastball is too much for this over grown boy.  It might dislodge my cataract implant and I don’t want to upset my surgeon.  He did some great work, and I wouldn’t hurt his feelings for anything.

        6.  The student must at least pretend to like bluegrass music and must attend a minimum of one session at the Bomb Shelter to get an “A+”

       7.  The student must understand sudden death is against office policy, and agree to abide by said written policy.  Every case of indigestion is a heart attack waiting to happen until we prove it ain’t, then we can get out the Tums.  So far no one has been pronounced well and then dropped dead in my parking lot.  I know it could happen  tomorrow, and when it does it’ll break my heart, but we will pray hard for it not to be this month.  (or any other time)

       8.  We will be nice to all patients, even the few who are mean to us.  After all, they are on the wrong end of the stethoscope for the day, and our problems ain’t as bad as what they are going through.  

        9.  We will tip well when we are out to eat.  I might be a ‘low end provider’ (trust me, I am the Family Dollar Store of Medicine) but I still make more than what I’m worth.  A lot of those kids waiting tables for us are my patients.  Many of them are single moms trying to survive.  They are a lot worse off than me.

        10.  The student must agree to accompany me to out of town shows which my wife is unable to attend.  He will agree to split any road trip driving time after midnight with me 50/50 so my Marfar won’t worry.  If she can go he must sit in the back seat, or better yet he can drive and we’ll sit in the back.  (She’s gonna get after me if I write any more than that.) 

       11.  I will pray hard for no hits, no runs, no errors, and be humbly sorry if I hit a foul ball by mistake.  In exchange, God has promised me a nice spot in Heaven where I can hear waterfalls every day and have a perfect view of all the rainbows.  My mandolin will stay in tune for eternity, and with no sickness there I can hang up my stethoscope and retire for all time.  I’m too close now to not make good on my reservation.

        On other words, while he is here in Rome all he’s gotta do is act like a Roman.  It shouldn’t be hard; after all his name is Julius.  I’ve got a feeling he’ll be able to live with the rules.  We’re gonna have a good time of it.  Call me if you have any concerns.

Dr. B