Saturday, June 4, 2011

Memories...

I don't watch doctor shows. I just don't care. But my Mom has always been a sucker for them.

"Pimping" is a longstanding tradition on teaching rounds. An attending physician routinely grills residents and medical students, partially to make them squirm and partially to teach them. The questions can be about medicines, diseases, conditions, or totally random ("the song that's playing in the elevator, what year is it from, and who was the group's lead singer?" I'M NOT MAKING THAT UP!).

In the mid-90's I'd graduated from medical school and was in residency training to become a neurologist. In the time-honored tradition of wayward children, I'd gone to my parents' house to do laundry. I was folding it in the family room, while mom watched a medical show.

On TV a bunch of white-coated figures were on rounds. Suddenly a senior physician looked at a medical student and asked "He's an alcoholic. Why do we give him thiamine, and not just glucose?"

Without thinking, I answered the question aloud (you get conditioned to do that). A few seconds later, a guy on TV said the exact same thing I just had.

And my mother, in wide-eyed astonishment, looked at me and said "Hey! How did you know that?"

27 comments:

Julie said...

Your mum wanted you to be a lawyer right?

Anonymous said...

Did you tell her it was from watching medical shows? ;)

RehabNurse said...

I love it! Yes, all that time you thought I was goofing off getting all this laundry dirty, well, I've been in med school (I add nursing school here)!

I especially love it now when family members send me medical advice...and they're not healthcare providers.

Sometimes you just have to burst their collective balloons...

badtothebohn said...

"Mom, I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV"

C said...

haha. cause the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex wouldn't work without it?
I'm really scared to have to answer questions that aren't in multiple choice format next year... except next year is in 4 weeks.

The Mother said...

Um--she was surprised???

Only my MIL seems surprised when I know doctor stuff. It seems she never got the memo. My mom, the old ER nurse, immediately started deferring all matters medical to me--in my first year of med school.

I am never surprised that my kids know stuff. After all, isn't that why I write those big checks to Teach My Kid U?

Albinoblackbear said...

Hahahh my SIL had the same reaction when I asked if they gave her Serc for her ED presentation with Meniere's.

I was like, "where do you think I've been working for the last 5 years of my life??"

Texas Pharmacy Chica said...

Ok, so pharmacy school for me...but our anatomy class was instructed by physicians and we had a couple of labs at the morgue at Local Med School. During one lab, the Med School Prof is going through the intestine and determines the last meal consisted of raisin bread when he stops mid-sentence and yes, asks if any of us know the music coming out of the speakers.

I did and I got an A in the class.

Co-incidence?

Rachel said...

I've definitely had my fair share of random pimping during my 3rd year of medical school so far. During my Neurology rotation, one of the neurosurgeons we worked with loved to ask us about who was singing the songs on his Ipod.

Also, one of our surgical attendings loves to ask questions about current events, who the current governor, senator, etc. are for whatever state you're from. Nothing like going home to learn about what the indications are for a lap chole and studying up on your state representatives at the same time.

Hildy said...

I'm curious. Most commonly, a pimp is an agent for prostitutes, probably from the French pimper (meaning to dress elegantly) from which, presumably the verb was extended to mean "gussy up" (as in pimp my ride). How does that become "ask a student a question for the purpose of testing knowledge?" Unless it's because pimp can also mean a despicable person, and a doctor who tests your knowledge is despicable?

SarahRx said...

My mother put herself through school to become a physio. My grandparents (her parents) paid half my tuition for pharmacy school. When my grandmother broke her hip, they wouldn't listen to the physio - they insisted on waiting for the pharmacist to come and call 911 for her. I guess they feel connected to my education in a way they never did to my mother's.

BTW: mom is the one who told me grandma had a broken hip. I walked into the room and said "Mom says you have a broken hip. I'm going to go call 911." No one argued with me.

7Days1Band said...

Wernecke's encephalopathy, right?

Don said...

Not being in the medical field, I don't understand why the doctor would ask totally random questions. Since I don't follow popular culture at all, and have never done so, I would have failed the question(s).
I've been on many interviews for my field, and on one or two occasions I was asked what I thought of a particular sports team. My reply was always "What relevance does this have to the proposed job?"

Ben S said...

http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/dictionary/pimp/

Apparently it's one of those fancy medical terms.

08armydoc said...

I once heard that the theory behind "pimping" meaning asking the med students allllll sorts of stupid questions comes from "to pump". A good pimp session is intended to find the extend of your knowledge (ie, the bottom of the water well), and start the teaching at that point. In non-surgical specialties, pimping may *feel* malignant, but it's rarely intended to *be* that way, but rather as a teaching tool. Rather than be a tool that teaches.

Anonymous said...

It's even more fun to amaze your kids, especially when they're teens & think you are as dumb as a rock.

My daughter invited a new friend over & when I noticed she had a slight accent, my daughter said, "Yeah, she was born somewhere else. Armenia? No, somewhere close to Armenia. They came here coz of some stupid war or something."

So I turned to the friend & said, "Oh, your family was fleeing the Nagorno-Karabakh war? Are you Azerbaijani?" The friend smiled brightly and told a very interesting story about how they escaped.

My daughter's mouth was open the entire time. She finally said, "Mom! How did you know that? I couldn't find Armenia ... or that other place ... on a map if you paid me a thousand dollars!"

"I was a foreign news correspondent in the late 80's, early 90's. I actually did have a LIFE before you entered the world!" lololol

Anonymous said...

Did you tell her you moonlighted as a script writer for TV shows?

Angelina said...

What??? You did your laundry and folded it too, while your mom watch t.v. Cool, does your wife know you do laundry, it could come in handy. : )

Anonymous said...

Pimping the med student while the patient....
I'm a pharmacist. My doc knows this. He had a med student with him one day and didn't mention this too the poor med student. I needed a procedure done that required a little lidocaine first. Looked at the student and asked, "Hey, is that an ester or an amide?" Deer in the headlight look--it was pretty funny to see him start looking around like, "what's going on here?"

Watercolor said...

Yeah. My dad used to call me, his architect daughter, with construction questions and ask me to ask our construction field guy what the answers were. I'd hang up, work for a while, then call him back and answer them myself. Der. lol

Queen of the Road said...

During a vacation while in medical school, I ended up in the ER in another country. The doc taking care of me found out I was a med student and starting pimping me - about my own condition.

Since there was no way this was ever getting back to anyone at my school, it was incredibly satisfying to say: Don't pimp me. I get enough of this crap at home.

cliffintokyo said...

Really cool comments here, especially badtothebohn is priceless!
Anon pharmacist, you are a cruel dude; I should know, as an organic chemistry PhD.
Original post sounds like Mumsy's Eureka! moment....my son is going to be famous! He knows more than the Doc on TV! All those tuition fees were worth it!

KateA said...

We had a neurologist that would spray you with the bulb syringe during surgery...even if you got the question right. He also sprayed a 4th year student with a fire extinguisher because the kid was saying "What'zzz up?" about a million times in a row. When the dude yelled, "WTF?" Dr. Neuro sprayed him again. Priceless. Kid was a bit of a douche (think white rapper) and it was something that we all wanted to see.

Livvy said...

Aside from The Mother, who is obviously very wise, I think most of us have problems understanding that anyone from a different generation has "discovered" knowledge beyond our own. Sort of like how we know that our grandparents MUST have had sex at some point, but it's completely unimaginable on some level.

kate said...

I sometimes find myself answering my cell phone like I'm at work...

"Thank you for calling the clinic of-- oh...wait. Umm, I mean, hi."

That's when I know it's time for a vacation.

Library-Gryffon said...

I used to answer the home phone "Burn Trauma Unit" if it rang when I'd been home less than an hour or so. I did discover that it was a very good way to weed out real calls - if they knew me personally, they knew they had the right number, if they were trying to sell me new windows or aluminum siding, they tended to hang up very quickly at that point.

Anonymous said...

Meh. Don't talk to me about medical knowledge in relatives with medical training. My 17-year-old has just been diagnosed with mild pectus excavatum. I noticed that his sternum was odd when he was newborn, godammit, and pointed it out to my claims-to-be-a-competent-pediatrician mother and Board-certified neonatologist sister. They both said they couldn't see anything wrong!! Mumblegrumblecurseswear.

 
Locations of visitors to this page