This post was inspired by an e-mail from a good friend the other night, who lamented that the posts on MiM lately have been a bit of a downer. Well, the news has been a bit of a downer, and MiM is a good place to process all of that, but I decided we needed an upswing.
Pathologists are a unique breed. We lack the romanticism of psychiatrists - we cannot equal the beautiful poetry of Juliaink. We lack the braniac of neurosurgeons - we can only wish to be as rocket scientist as gcs15. We lack the adventurousness of OB's - MomTFH, Dr. Whoo, and RH + are in a league of their own. We lack the sleuthiness (new word!) of internal medicine docs - we can hope and aspire to be like KC, Genmedmom, and MomT, but alas it can never be. We lack the empathy and sacrifice of the medical oncologists such as The Red Humor and Tempeh. We lack the finesse of the surgeons like Cutter, and the intellectualism of the neurologists like Artemis. We lack the heart and dedication of the cardiologists like JC, and the virtuousness of the pediatricians like MommaBee and T. We lack the blanket aspirations of pre-med students like Kyla - no matter where her path in life eventually takes her, it will be great. We lack the mystery of the PM&R doc, whose job I still do not understand despite numerous explanations by Fizzy. All I can say is thank goodness she has her cartoon talent going for her.
We are just lab rats. But we try to be cool lab rats. My partner sent a memo last week entitled "The Twelve Specimens of Christmas." I won't insult you by telling you what Christmas tune to call to mind when I give you the final refrain. I also won't type the entire song because A) it will take too long and B) you will get the point from the final refrain.
"On the twelfth day of Christmas my P.A. (physician's assistant) sent to me, Twelve Prostates Praying, Eleven Adenoids Ailing, Ten Tonsils Talking, Nine Lymph Nodes Lounging, Eight Tubes a Toiling, Seven Skins a Sweating, Six Hearts a Beating, Five U-TER-I; Four Foreign Bodies, Three Big Toes, Two Colon Segments, and an Ab-scess Ca-vi-ty."
Now you too can entertain your family and loved ones over Christmas dinner. Make sure you have barf bags handy.
Every year I give my favorite pathologists a gift. Under $10.00 - it's the thought that counts. This year I got all the girls a cute mousepad with a cartoon of a chick on it, underneath it said, "Pathology Chick." The boys got a cool art deco mousepad with repeating microscope pics in soothing browns, greens, and blues. Everyone got a card. It was this.
The insert read, "Seasons Greetings to all my favorite pathologists. All twenty of them - don't worry, I'm not singling anyone out with this card, but I decided we need to change our image. Someone I write with actually told me a few years ago that she thought all pathologists grew ear hair. Really? I'd never heard of ear hair.
So hang up this card in a high traffic area. I guarantee in a year we will all be more gorgeous for the effort. Except Brent of course. Even this card cannot perform miracles."
I enjoyed walking around the lab, stealth-like, watching all my partners palpating their ears with a perplexed look on their face looking for sudden growth. Thanks for the inspiration, one of my favorite co-writers - you know who you are Fizzy (oops I was trying to keep it a secret that I actually like you a bunch - any readers who believe otherwise be damned. No, never mind, I wouldn't damn anyone, just setting the record straight. We give each other shit because we love each other, really).
So there you go. Pathologists are no longer lab rats. We are hot.
I hope all of my co-writers on MiM and every reader out there, including aspiring pathologists (good luck H! I really enjoyed chatting with you the other day) has a wonderful holiday.