Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Dear surgical registrar...

Block: Colorectal surgery, week 2

Dear surgical registrar, your royal highness,

During my time as a medical student I have come to realise that the stereotypes about surgeons which abound in books, films and TV aren't really true. Not that I ever believed you were all a bunch of "ignorant scalpeljocks" to begin with (to quote the good Dr Cox), but I had always wondered if it was true that some of you are renowned for being very socially inept.

So, on this note, when you tell me off in front of the HCAs for "slouching" in your afternoon clinic, please bear in mind the following:

1) That I am only slouching because I was sat on the edge of the examination couch because there was no chair available.

2) That last week when I stood instead of sitting, you told me that I shouldn't "loom". But this was most likely your attempt at a tongue-in-cheek comment, so fine, that didn't bother me.

3) That I was probably slouching because my back hurts after being up and about since your 8 AM ward round where you largely ignored me.

4) That whilst slouching probably doesn't look great, neither does you rolling your eyes at a question one of my medical student colleagues asked when he was clerking in a patient. He didn't notice your annoyance because he was too busy taking his history, but I did. And perhaps, so did the patient. Hopefully the patient didn't think you were rolling your eyes at THEM, because something tells me that that probably comes off as a tad more unprofessional than slouching.

I don't really know what possesses you to act in this way - it doesn't make you seem particularly impressive or scary, merely a bit socially awkward. But then again, that seems to be par for the course for some in your chosen specialty.

But I must thank you for showing me exactly how NOT to behave towards my future students, should I ever become a registrar.

Lots of love,

"The medical student" - (because that's how you like to refer to me)