Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tales From the Pedi Student Library

  • A fellow student, who attended college with me, stated that she must be the only person in the world who disliked yoga. It turned out that we were in the same yoga kinesiology class in college. She said "oh yeah, you were up at the front. You were really good." I replied that I used to be a gymnast, so I have always been flexible, and I added "Even now that I weigh three times as much as a normal gymnast now, I'm still pretty flexible." She looks at me and says "well, yeah, I mean, most gymnasts are about 70 pounds." I nearly died laughing as she tried to apologize for accusing me of weighing 210 pounds (I'm overweight and curvy, but not morbidly obese, okay?) We decided that if I weighed that much, at least I carry it well. I said it must be my extraordinary slimming undergarments.
  • Funny, yet sad. Another fellow student shared her morning in specialty clinic with us: "So after this family [mom, dad, and kiddo] had waited an hour to see the doctor, he made me present the patient to him IN THE ROOM. Including a differential diagnosis. This kid had cervical lymphadenopathy [swollen lymph nodes in the neck], so his differential included really scary things like HIV, TB, lymphoma, and leukemia, and I had to keep talking about them, watching the mom's eyes getting bigger and bigger. At the end of all that, the doctor turns to the family and says 'I think it's probably nothing, just a virus', but by then the mom was totally freaked and asked for tons of tests for the conditions we'd just mentioned. To make matters worse, he then told the parents 'Well, if you were a white family, I'd probably overlook the TB thing [the kid had zero risk factors for TB], but TB tends to be a little more prevalent in African American families. After all, TB chases poverty.' Both parents shared shocked looks while I tried to melt into the floor. This family had been referred to this doctor by their pediatrician, whom they see regularly. They're well-dressed, the kid is well taken care of, and this doctor has no idea what their social situation may be." Another student replied "Perhaps he should be wearing a white pointy hat with eyeholes on top of his white coat." A third student, black herself, began to flick imaginary TB on us all.
  • Yesterday in a lecture on "Health and the Human Spirit", we were cautioned against complimenting a Hispanic baby without actually touching the baby. The doctor in question said she's had parents who were CONVINCED the student gave the baby the Evil Eye, when all the student had done was the say "Oh, what a cute baby!" Note to self: do not put the Evil Eye on any innocent babies. I think I will start complimenting people I don't like more often, however.

Oy vey. Just another day of saving the world.

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