The post where I lose all my credibility

I was contacted by a viral advertising company regarding the recent release of the St. Elsewhere Season One DVD. I was asked to put up a banner or a DVD review or a link or some such, as I had previously expressed that I liked St. Elsewhere on this blog.

My opinion of viral advertising is not a good one. I think that generating a fake grass roots kind of buzz is a little blah, and it is a big knock to my credibility if I am going to put up links and such for product placement. And I have just (only a few hours ago!) posted on how I think that doctors as a profession are selling out to big pharma.

But I have to admit, I liked St. Elsewhere. And maybe this is tincture of time painting a rosy picture on my memories, but I thought it was more truthful to the spirit of medicine, like Scrubs is, and like ER was when it started, or like M*A*S*H.

And I think that St. Elsewhere deserves a new audience, but maybe that's selfish of me. So anyway, here is the link that was provided to me for the St Elsewhere DVD. Feel free to follow as you like. You should know that I was offered a copy of the season 1 DVD gratis for my troubles. I have not yet decided to take them up on this offer. I realize that sounds trite.

The future of medicine

Whenever the pharmaceutical reps come through, they throw all kinds of stuff at us: pens, paper, post-it's, stethoscope tags, pen lights, and more stuff always coming through. Doctors are given a lot of items.

And I don't take any of this stuff for the most part, because this picture encapsulates my fear. I think that this is the direction that physicians are moving, and eventually we'll be wearing white coats that will look remarkably like this.

So I don't take any pharmaceutical stuff like this. I'm not divested from big pharma. I still take the occasional free meal, and I go to a few dinners every now and then, but I don't accept any advertising material, because I don't want my future to look like this.


I had someone say the funniest thing to me this weekend. One of my friends mentioned to me that I was such a good looking guy in high school. To which I say: wha? Did I miss something?

I guess that I've never really had such an image of myself. I've never thought of myself as attractive. How can one possibly be the judge of such things? It didn't help that I had this idea constantly thrown at me that I was one of the social outcasts, unworthy of popularity.

And now I find that I still think this, and I'm surprised if not shocked when people pay me compliments, because I think to myself how untrue their words must be. It can't possibly be reality. I can't be good looking. It's a lie.

It amazes me how the trauma of a few years of high school can still manage to affect my self-esteem, a decade after the fact. And how does one go about fixing something like this, if it can be fixed at all?

I was putting in a central line, and one of the nurses was standing next to me, helping me with some saline and other assorted things, and she said, "Dr. Ifinding, you smell nice today." Can it be possible that all these years I've been entirely and utterly wrong about myself? What a devastating thought that is.

High school memories

Over this Thanksgiving weekend, I got to see some friends from high school briefly. It was quite odd. It had been so long since I saw some of them that seeing them again was a little jarring. It felt good though, and it was wonderful to have some intelligent conversations and really talk.

But I realized that nothing had really changed from high school. The cool kids are still the cool kids, and I'm still decidedly not cool. And I don't mind that terribly, but it's not what you could call a badge of honor or anything. It's a little sad, really.

I remember what it was like to be that outcast, the pariah. High school was a really hard time for me, and I'm glad that it's done, and part of me is very sad that it still haunts me a little, that I'm still bitter about my life back then. I wish that I was beyond it all, but I'm not.

I found out a while back that someone had spread all kinds of bad things about me through high school, completely without my notice. And I couldn't figure out why it was that whole parts of the school wanted nothing to do with me, and it hurt, in a spectacular way that only a peer group can hurt you. So I stuck with my friends, and clung on for dear life until graduation.

I think back sometimes and wonder if I could've made things better for myself, and why can't I do those things now in my life. I just can't though. Some things are hard to change, and in the end, I'm still in that pariah mode.

Maybe high school would've been different if... well, there are too few hours in the day to waste any more time on thoughts like this. High school is over, thankfully, and as much as I wish it was different, it is done.

Don't become a doctor #10 - hate me

So, I was reading Waiter Rant's post about pharmaceutical meetings (nothing against waiter rant. It's a good blog), and I was really distressed at all the extremely negative comments about doctors. We're so rich, and privileged, and we take advantage of people, and we're evil and soulless. This kind of stuff really bothers me. And I said my peace, but I realize that trying to win an argument on someone else's blog comments is pretty hopeless.

Because if my goal was to make a lot of money, I picked the dumbest way to do it. If I wanted money, I'd get an MBA. I'd work at a firm. And I kind of resent the idea that I went into medicine to get mine, because it's such a ridiculous notion. Eleven years of education after high school! ELEVEN YEARS! $150,000 debt! My life has been on hold for so damn long. And this is the reward? Contempt and indignation?

And the comments keep ringing. We're rude. We're selfish. We're inconsiderate. We're in the pocket of drug companies. It hurts. It hurts because I spend so much of my time trying to be the exact opposite of these things.

What was the point of all this work, just to be taken for granted? Oh that's right. I'm here to help people. And I don't mean that tritely. Everyone in medicine, doctors and nurses and therapists, etc, we are in this because the idea of helping another human being is something that resonates. If it didn't, no one could do this. As I am fond of telling the students, we're worked too hard and suffered too long to do something we hate.

This is why I tell people that if you want to be a doctor for the prestige and admiration, you're wasting your time. Because all you need to do is look through waiter rant's comment section to see how you will be admired.

EDIT - The waiterrant website migrated, and comments were lost. Hopefully, you get the idea.