Monday, April 23, 2007

So What Do You Do?

I have just returned from nearly three weeks of travel, touring several countries in South America. It was a great trip and I regret not being able to travel longer.

While I still have no medical anecdotes to report, some interesting moments did occur during my trip as a result of me being in medical school. Because I am essentially done with medical school -- graduation is next month, but my classes/clerkships ended last month -- when people asked me what I did, I simply told people I was a doctor. My responses weren't far from the truth at all ... I said I had just finished with medical school and I would be starting internship very soon.

(Interestingly, Americans were intrigued by newly-minted doctors, while foreigners were not.)

Inevitably they would start asking follow-up questions such as what specialty I had chosen, why I went into medicine, and other related topics. These conversations were amusing and enjoyable at first, however, I quickly grew tired of them. After the first few of these conversations I knew exactly what question(s) people would ask next, and all my answers were canned.

I therefore came up with an alternative response to the question "What do you do?" I just told people I was in "healthcare". That usually elicited a response similar to "Oh that's a good field" ... and then the conversation usually ended.

It was great. With this wise choice of words, I evaded that repetitive conversation. It worked great the rest of the trip ... although one woman pried a little by asking "What do you do in healthcare?" to which I responded "I work in a hospital."

It is funny how certain things in medicine are so exciting initially, but whose novelty wears off quickly. Other examples include wearing my white coat (I was so excited the first time I wore it but now I can't stand wearing that short white coat) and having a pager (my first page was exciting, while every single one thereafter was annoying). I can only assume more of these situations will arise in the future, and so I should just accept them now.


keagirl said...

Welcome back. Definitely enjoy your free time now because after July 1st, you won't know what hit you.

I know what you mean about questions regarding my profession. I think you have inspired a new post for me... :)

The MSILF said...

I always lie on vacation. I'm a bartender or social worker something.

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