Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Meetings and conferences and grand rounds OH MY!

A large part of a medical career is spent half awake in a darkened auditorium. It starts in medical school with classes. During the 3rd & 4th years it expands to include grand rounds and teaching conferences of whatever rotation you're on.

In residency it continues, with most programs having at lease 1 daily conference. Residents who don't show up risk incurring the wrath of the program director.

In the REAL WORLD this stuff continues. It's worst if you stay in academics, but even in private practice there are CME courses, annual meetings, etc. to go to (okay, I haven't gone to any for over 12 years, but I'm atypical). My idol, Dr. Oscar London, pointed out that by the time they finish training most doctors are conditioned to doze off when they hear "May I have the first slide, please."

But I digress.

Anyway, the point here is that these meetings are BORING. Except for the occasional fistfight between doctors breaking out (I personally witnessed one at a tumor board between a medical oncologist and radiation oncologist) these things are dreary as hell.

But there are rare exceptions. The one that will likely live on as THE MOST INTERESTING MEDICAL PRESENTATION EVER was in 1983, at the American Urodynamics Association annual meeting.

The presenter was Sir Giles Brindley (knighted in 1986 for bioengineering research).

At this point, I'm going to send you over to a summary article for the remarkable story of that day.

Thank you, Science Marches On Department!

26 comments:

Tracy said...

H.O.L.Y. C.R.A.P. Dr. Grumpy. wow...

Megha Agrawal said...

All i cam say is...OH MY!! LOL_

Marni said...

LOL!

This made my morning.

Sarah Glenn said...

Oh, dear.... O_o

Anonymous said...

Show and tell: It worked when we were kids, and it still works now. It's a powerful teaching tool. (no pun intended)

--Queen Anne's Lace

Mary Sisson said...

I remember reading an account of either this or a VERY similar presentation in the NY Times Magazine that was written by someone who was kind of hilariously uncomfortable with the subject matter. The doctor telling the tale mainly remembered being very impressed by the drug's effect--and seeing the reporter's look of total shock, said, "Oh, don't worry, it was a bunch of urologists."

Queen Elizabeth II said...

Arise, Sir Giles.

Sara / Aryanhwy said...

"Memorable" seems a bit of an understatement!

lbparker said...

An actual case of an "absent-minded professor" not realizing the social consequences of his demonstration?

How appropriate--my wv is "later"!

Packer said...

You say he was Knighted for biomechanical research, I dare say he was knighted for Swordsmanship.


Great stuff.

Mara said...

Read about this thanks to Mary Roach and her awesome book, Bonk. Hell, anything she writes is awesome.

Elli said...

The demonstration would have been far more effective had he injected his flaccid penis at the beginning of the lecture, and then proceeded with the slides, and the growing body of evidence.

bobbie said...

I'm with Elli...

Bless his heart ~

Amanda said...

I just laughed so loudly the bosses came to see why I shrieked. That required some fancy footwork.

In other matters, I'd suspect the CME offerings for Mongolian yak herders would be rather sparse, so that could explain your 12-year hiatus.

pharmacy chick said...

What better way to demonstrate your "point", I say! Dont they tell you in speech class to bring effective visual aids? in this case HE brough ERECTIVE visual aids...

ceil blue said...

I wish I could go back in time to see this, while wearing depends for when I laugh so hard I pee my pants.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully funny story. :)
Noticing the author's name, I sincerely hope that Dr. Klotz is a hematologist.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my stars! With intracavernosal demonstrations, perhaps application of cantharides would've been interesting as well.

One of our new surgeons recently contributed to the continuing medical education roster with lecture on surgical techniques used in injuries related to spud missile launchers, which I'd always thought had something to do with the Cold War and Spudnik, but apparently not. Too bad, the surgeon is with us only a short time (locum tenens) as he would fit in quite nicely with other hospital staff just fine.

medrecgal said...

Wow...I didn't realize this would be a "rated R" post until I clicked on the link...and just about wet myself laughing. I think if I'd actually been in attendance, though, I'd have been more likely to have sat there in complete astonishment, glued to my seat for lack of being able to do anything else. Guess the dude just wanted to really prove it worked...

Anonymous said...

Gives new meaning to "Physician, heal thyself."

the golddigger said...

At least his research and demo weren't about guaranteeing - um - completion of the process.

JoAnna said...

Hear that sound? That's a hundreds of computers firing up as exhibitionists hurry to apply for medical school... :)

RehabRN said...

Since I work with folks in a urodynamics and sexual health clinic, I'm printing this out and taking it to work.

Way too entertaining to keep to myself. Thanks Grumpy!

Anonymous said...

This isn't Missouri, Prof Brindley. You don't have to show us.

Anonymous said...

this story may help me stay awake at future CME offerings....

gabbiana said...

HA HA HA HA HA.

I am trying to think of an EM topic that would allow for a similar presentation... Maybe if I got someone to shoot me in my chest and then place the chest tube... But no.

 
Locations of visitors to this page