10 Sep

There’s something about seeing a man’s penis that is utterly detaching.

Not detached, although I’m sure that would be disturbing in its own right. But detaching.

With the cadaver, for instance, that’s donated for my learning objectives in medical school. It’s become clinical; but it wasn’t until you peel back the drapes to see every bit that detachment actually occurs. A complete wall between oneself and the body, the pathology.

Maybe that’s what that whole doctor-God-complex thing is about. The detachment, this wall makes us invulnerable. There is no fear — there may be no doubt or second guessing. Medicine is, today, largely about reassurance, isn’t it? But reassurance often means attachments, and there’s no room for attachments. Attachments mean emotional ties. And emotional ties, quite frankly, mean silly mistakes. What a thin line.

Maybe it’s medical school that does this to us. Strips us of the ability to function normally – in relationships, in the hospital, in life. We learn to treat our patients a certain way, to handle them, learn to interact with them. Spoken to a doctor recently? Better yet, do you have a friend who’s a doctor? They’re a whole different person outside sterilized walls. They’re not reassuring, they’re not wholly optimistic, they’re not thoughtful and probing and gentle and nice. That’s silly to believe, isn’t it? That doctors should be nice. And yet, it seems legitimate at the same time. Doctors SHOULD be nice! … Unfortunately, we don’t all want to be doctors for the same reason, huh?

It has become the same in my, for lack of a better word, (relationship) of late, as well. You peel back the mystery, the excitement, the … well, the pants … and it’s over.

God. Medical students. Medical school. Can’t fuck ’em, can’t…well…fuck ’em. Not without their own guilt spilling out of their eager, med-centric little hearts and scattering over your bed. They scamper away, bury themselves in books not to see the light of day for hours at a time. A day and a half!

Does that sound healthy to you? You’re human. Remember? You’re a medical student, sure, which is pushing it as far as humanistic activities can go. Remember these things, called social interactions? It’s called stepping outside of your head to have a conversation about the impending hurricane, the upcoming presidential election, the philosophics of religion in medicine. I get it — you need to concentrate. Make sacrifices. But you’re human. A little  physical activity would do the body good.

This is where the detachment comes in, isn’t it? We build these walls, these high, cold, punishing stone walls that are impenetrable — where we snuggle with histology slides, cuddle up next to Netter’s Atlas and  Biochem BRS. And even peeking out into the world outside seems unforgiveable — so much so that any act of defiance must be countered with long hours in a cramped room, shades drawn.

Do we really wonder why our doctors are detached?


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