Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When the Bough Breaks

Yesterday I was gloriously excused for a few hours from my (minimal)(laughable)(let's face it, largely fake) responsibilities in the neurosurgery OR for a good ole fashioned GYN appointment. Anymore when I see a physician for any reason I find myself in an odd position: I'm the patient. It seems spending the past six months on the other side of the drop sheet has afforded me new insights into my own health care. Specifically, I am now determined never to be sick or require medical attention ever. Ever ever ever. I don't want to be in a hospital EVERRRRR, MY GOD. And doctors on the whole frankly freak my shit out. But! The root of these notions are stories for a different HIPAA laced day.

So anyway, the times when I do have to suck it up and go to the doctor I find myself surveying things with a short white coat sized grain of salt (AKA I can probably convince you I know what's going on while having absolutely no idea).

My doc's waiting room is arranged such that a whole host of chairs forms a U shape facing a central wall. On said central wall there are four or five large bulletin boards teeming with pinned up baby face snapshots, all staring out with empty baby stares in a kind of an eerie way, eliciting a creepy feeling from passerby not unlike the spook I imagine supermarket employees get walking down the Gerber food aisle after the customers have gone home.

I couldn't help but... question... the decor from a, I suppose, social sensitivity standpoint.   I mean, really? Baby faces? Obviously they are the cooing mugs of past deliveries, but... they're the successful deliveries.

Am I being  a freak thinking that such a display might alienate or off put patients who came in uncertain about their pregnancy? Or even less politically/socially/religiously charged, an infertile patient coming in for consultation? Or the patient who comes in for an anatomy ultrasound and learns the fetus has been lost?

I just... I don't know... was surprised.

Some of you I'm sure will commence eye rolling, but others will maybe understand  why I think doctors can be a little too focused on the science sometimes. Detrimentally so.


  1. I think you've got a very valid point. And while I am not as sensitive as those who may have had a miscarriage or those looking to end a pregnancy... baby posters would only serve to remind me that I am a single, hopeless case that will probably never have a bouncy baby on my leg.


    Oh, PS, glad you're blogging!

  2. I also desire never to get sick, require hospitalization, or get old.

    I did allow myself one reward for finishing (knock on wood) my core clerkships though: NO NURSE PRACTITIONERS EVER. Even for the Pap smear. Because, it's bad enough that I still have to go to student health for my care, there's no way I'm allowing any person who thinks *I* think I'm better than she is near my vagina with a speculum.

    Maybe the baby photos in the office are meant to make the people who are thinking about abortion feel guilty?