Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Top o' the Morning to You

As part of my surgical rotation at BigWhig Hospital we have an hour a week surgical pathology conference. The conference is located in the basement of the oldest part of the hospital. To get there I have to go through several doors marked ‘do not enter’. It is kind of a creepy trek most especially because, as you enter the final door, you get greeted by prosections of the brain. Not the most pleasant of sights.

However, the instructor more than makes up for the dank surroundings. He’s the quintessential professor portrayed by Hollywood. Dashingly intelligent, somewhat ethereal, white hair, grandfatherly form, and Irish accent (ok, so Hollywood usually gives them a British accent). He’s something from another era entirely. He’s a pathologist, who I believe is as passionate about his specimens as most doctors are about their patients. He forever quotes Robbins and refers to the students as ‘Doctor’ in a slightly cheeky and condescending tone that is adorable. He spends the time with us showing formaldehyde soaked specimens and quizzing us on what they are and the pathophysiology behind the disease. Honestly, it is ridiculously hard and somewhat useless, from a surgical standpoint, to identify a 40 year old specimen as its perfused counterpart in real life. And truthfully, I’ve not gotten much out of these sessions that has helped me in the rotation. But I love them. Each one makes me feel like we’re stepping back in time to a more bookish and slow paced era. And I feel lucky to be taught by this character of a man. He’s definitely an Original and these days I think that’s very hard to find.

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