Continuing with the theme of picking a medical specialty, I present a summary of the most popular systems to go into, and how I was able to narrow down my list. Here is a transcript of a speech I delivered to the first-year medical students at my school.
First, stay away from internal medicine unless you enjoy sitting around a table and discussing abnormal lab values. Figuring out the cause of an electrolyte imbalance is mental masturbation to an internist. And low magnesium is girl-on-girl porn.
Preventive health is a great field to go into. It’s 9-5 and there’s no call. There’s never an epidemiological emergency. No one ever calls an epidemiologist at 2 in the morning to say, “We’ve got bird flu everywhere!” The preventive medicine doc will reply, “Okay, I’ll look into it next week.” The bad thing about preventive medicine is all of the public health and outreach service you might get pulled into. You’ll work with low income populations with lots of health problems and minimal education. These patients may not know much, but from the treatment they’ve received, I’m sure that they can spell “bigotry.” Well, probably not.
Pathology is also a great field. But men can’t become pathologists. I look at a slide and someone asks what I see. I say, “I see pink.” Then along will come some woman and say, “It’s not pink. It’s mauve.”
If you really want to impress people, go into dermatology. It’s not all acne. We learned during the dermatology module that the foreskins of circumcised men can be used to make skin grafts. But did you know that foreskins can also be used to make replacement eyelids? That makes me wonder: with all of those nerves now running to the eye, have you ever seen someone with erotic blinking?
If skin isn’t you thing, you can join the psychiatrists and might even become a regular guest on Oprah. When you take the psych class, you start to notice certain quirks about others. Like a man who rubs his beard whenever he’s nervous. “Hmmm… I don’t know the answer to that question.” Then he starts rubbing more of his face as situations get more intimidating. “I hope that girl will go out with me.” Finally it all ends with the job interview and full face rub down: “I feel that I would be a very valuable addition to this company.
Pediatrics? I can’t do pediatrics. It’s not that I hate babies, it’s just that newborns aren’t potty trained. You can’t housebreak them like a dog. You can’t rub their nose in the mess and hit them with a rolled up newspaper hoping that they’ll learn.