April 4, 2007

Rude Cactus, M.D.

Beth: So, you bought some cold medicine on your way home.
Me: Yeah.
Beth: Does that mean you think you have a cold and not the sinus infection you thought you might have? And don't need to go to the doctor.
Me: Yes. It's just a cold.
Beth: You have a medical degree I don't know about?

Well...yes. Yes I do. Aside from being a minister, I'm also a doctor. Proof? How about my resume.

Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, Korea (1950-1953)
I am, perhaps, a bit older than you might have originally assumed. The internet makes me look young. But that's neither here nor there. My first job out of medical school was patching up our wounded boys overseas. I was part of a dynamic, crack mobile unit of fine, yet neurotic, surgeons stationed in some of Korea's hottest spots. I received fine tutelage from Captains B.J. Hunnicutt and Benjamin Franklin Pierce whilst in the field, successfully completing my medical residency by the time the fog of that particular war lifted and our boys came marching (and drooling thanks to terrible field dental care and a strange lack of floss) home. Ahh, those days were fine ones, hanging out in the tent, distilling our own moonshine...

General Hospital, Port Charles (1970-1984)
Upon returning from the war, I heard voices needed some rest and long periods of heavy sedation a slower-paced lifestyle. After doing a little stint in a psych ward fly fishing and perfecting my skills on a newly acquired unicycle, I returned to medicine, sleeves rolled up and rarin' to go. I arrived in lovely Port Charles and reported for duty at General Hospital. It was a grueling undertaking. Despite working alongside eminent physicians such as Dr. Kevin O' Connor and Dr. Robin Scorpio, I was required to practice one hour of pre-recorded medicine five days a week! The pace proved too much. I retreated to the comfort of Boston.

St. Eligius Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (1984-1988)
Once in Boston, installed as head of Pulmonary-Psychotropic-Brangelina-Kfedmyopathy, I scrubbed in on several full brain-stem transplants with Dr. Donald Westphall as well as a highly controversial sex-change-reassignment-reversal-reversal overseen by Dr. Victor Erlich. I'll always remember Dr. Erlich's almost poetic thoughts about that surgery. "I'm not sure what it came out to be, doctor, but it sure had a mighty-fine ass." True, doctor. So true. Now, sure, I know some people say that the entire hospital was a figment of some autistic kid's imagination but I can assure you, that hospital and those people there are as real as the sheep-skin my diploma is printed on.

Cook County General Hospital, Chicago, Illinois (1994-1998)
There are lots of professions in which one may find themselves taking work home with them. Surgery sure isn't one of them, unless your family allows you to perform elective procedures on them without proper surgical instruments and the comfort and relief of anesthesia and a regimented pain management program. But there is a great deal of stress. For that reason, I took several years off after my quick dash ahead of the law retirement from St. Eligius. During that time I authored several medical texts including The Astonishing Things About Medicine Doctors Don't Know and How To Avoid Nasty Malpractice Suits: Practical Advice From An Experienced Defendant. Once installed at Cook County General, I practiced alongside doctors John Carter, Mark Greene and Doug Ross. Each of these fine doctors eventually left the practice with varying degrees of success after departing. I like to think, however, that I was able to impart some wisdom to each like beware patients packing heat and one day, you'll get trapped in the hospital in a snowstorm with a mental case.

Chicago Hope Hopsital, Chicago, Illinois (1998-2000)
In 1998, I received a restraining order against a female intern offer I couldn't refuse and found my way across town at Chicago Hope Hospital. My tenure there was brief. Dealing with the massive egos of Dr. Aaron Shutt and Dr. Jeffrey Geiger was too much for any physician to handle. I tendered my resignation after a brief two year stay.

Seattle Grace Hospital, Seattle, Washington (2005-2006)
After yet another forced leave of absence brief respite, I picked up and moved cross country to Seattle. Seattle Grace Hospital was, at first, a pleasant enough environment however the sexual politics and infighting caused it to lose it's luster quickly. Dr. Preston Burke's ego needed, some may say, a parking space of it's own. Plus I believe that he might be quite the homophobe. The succession of Dr. Richard Webber was of no consequence to me, despite the brilliance of neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd (McDreamy to some). After a completely consensual yet litigation plagued threesome study session with two interns, Yang and Stevens, I believe, I tendered my resignation and moved back east.

Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, Princeton NJ (2006-Present)
I am currently studying with Dr. Gregory House, a premier diagnostician. I'm getting a crash course in misdiagnosis (something at which I have always been told I excel) but, best of all, I get to write on a white board a lot. I have a sneaking suspicion that Dr. House may in fact be British but his irrational behavior and reliance on prescription pain medication make me reluctant to add to his troubles by reporting this confusion in nationalities to Dr. Lisa Cuddy.

There you have it. My secret medical career. I say now, for the record, it's just a cold. Or a rare tropical disease.

Posted by Chris at April 4, 2007 7:21 AM

Delightful. One of the best (and dorkiest) things I've done recently is buying the full MASH boxed set, including the movie. I haven't even made a dent yet, but man, that show is good. And the guest stars! Ron Howard! Kurt Russell! Good times... (no, not JJ Walker).

Posted by: Nicole at April 4, 2007 7:43 AM

Fabulous! Although I think in 70's and early 80's Robin Scorpio was probably in diapers. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Lisa at April 4, 2007 7:51 AM

you watch lady "stories"?

Posted by: SciFi Dad at April 4, 2007 8:01 AM

Lady Stories! LOL! **snort**


Is this doctor dream of yours fashioned after the fact that your wife is lusting after the Hotty Pediatrician and that her GYN is hitting on her?

Just wondering. ;)

Posted by: angela marie at April 4, 2007 8:04 AM

What a coincidence! We have worked at a lot of the same places. Remember me?

Posted by: lorien at April 4, 2007 8:09 AM

Tropical disease? Like a hurricane in your face? That would definitely suck. You can tell the signs of a sinus infection if your teeth hurt and it feels like your face is going to blow out when you blow your nose (b/c everything is impacted and it won't come out). Trust me, I've been there and it's nothing to fool around with. And good luck with your new residency at Princeton Hospital with Dr. House...I think I saw you last night assisting that lady in surgery with her fetus.

Posted by: Michelle at April 4, 2007 8:14 AM

I'll just throw pleuracy, cardio myopathy, and ideopathic vestibular syndrome out there while you're at it.

Hang on, IVS is something that old dogs get...

Get well soon!

Posted by: E :) at April 4, 2007 8:32 AM

This is great. You missed Marcus Welby, M.D. Remember him or is that going too far back?

Posted by: ann adams at April 4, 2007 8:37 AM

Remember Anna Nicole? Don't take a swig out of the cold medicine...use the measuring cup!

Posted by: daisy at April 4, 2007 8:57 AM

So, so awesome.

Posted by: Fraulein N at April 4, 2007 9:07 AM

hehe. fantastic.

Posted by: suze at April 4, 2007 9:14 AM

Thanks for the laugh on this icky day!

Posted by: Hope at April 4, 2007 9:23 AM

WHAT ABOUT MEDICINE BALL?!?! That one episode was pretty damned great!

Posted by: andy at April 4, 2007 10:19 AM

Wow... you really ARE a professional...

Too funny!

p.s. Love House!

Posted by: sue at April 4, 2007 10:22 AM

"I'm not sure what it came out to be, doctor, but it sure had a mighty-fine ass."

I almost snarfed the precious morning coffee!

LOVED St. Elsewhere and M*A*S*H is still great...

Feel better!

Posted by: Sue R. at April 4, 2007 10:43 AM

lisa totally busted you! you obviously watched GH long after 1984.

i should know because robin scorpio is my best friend. we like to go to jakes for tequila shots with the girls... you know, lainey and liz and emily and whatshername that gynecologist chick that always flirts with robin's boyfriend. so if anyone knows a lot about medicine, it's me.

cbc and chem 7, stat! (ok, that i know from ER)

Posted by: jen at April 4, 2007 10:59 AM

Thanks for bringing me a much-needed laugh today! I laughed through every paragraph.

As for the GH Dr. Scorpio question: There was indeed a Dr. Scorpio at General Hospital in the early 80's (my college years). It was Dr. Robert Scorpio, played by Tristan somebody. He was pretty hot.

I don't know who this Robin Scorpio chick is, but there must be some relation there. As a supposedly hard-working member of the older generation, I don't see the soap operas/daytime serials/whatever they call them now, so I am not current.

Geez I'm an old fart!

Posted by: KathyK at April 4, 2007 12:06 PM

I studied with some of those very same doctors!

Hope the rare tropical disease clears up soon.

Posted by: bad penguin at April 4, 2007 12:28 PM

Rita Rudner has this great joke about going to secret medical school. In her case though, she's posing that question to her husband whenever he wants her to diagnose his ailments. "Do you think I went to some secret medical school that I'm not bothering to tell you about?" eh. Trust me. It's hilarious.

In other news ... you should go to the doctor. You don't know me so you don't know how major it is for me to advise anyone to go but it is. I tried to tough it out a few months ago, telling myself it was just a cold and the damn thing lingered for 3 months. As the doctor said to me once I smartened up and went, "Just come see me. I'm here to help you." Duh. :sigh:

Posted by: patricia at April 4, 2007 1:25 PM

It is amazing that with all that medical experience that you never did a stint in the E.R. or perhaps the Scrubs were just too intolerable?

I started down a similar path, however I strayed from the living to the dead, first partnering up with Dr. R. Quincy, M.E. from 1976 through 1983. However I didn't find this option really attractive, until I was Crossing Jordan in 2001 and again returned to dealing with people after the doctors were through with them.

Posted by: JayMonster at April 4, 2007 1:36 PM

I LOVE to self diagnose. And my partner (who used to work in a pharmacy) likes to tell me all the reasons why my diagnosis is preposterous and I should see a doctor. She is almost always right. Damn her.

Feel better soon. =)

Posted by: smoness at April 4, 2007 1:57 PM

That's a little Twilight Zone-ish. Hoop and I had a very similar conversation about his medical degree (or lack of) about a week ago. Apparently he went to Harvard after Nam. You know, the WAR. He got there by way of time machine. One he built himself out of toothpicks. Yeah...

Posted by: Tink at April 4, 2007 4:06 PM

And I swear we're not on drugs.

Unless you count the paint fumes.

Posted by: Tink at April 4, 2007 4:07 PM

It's like the old joke says...

What do the call the guy that graduated last in his class from medical school?


Posted by: Pammer at April 4, 2007 4:34 PM

This is wonderful! Thank you ... I needed the chuckle today :)

House is quickly becoming a favorite of mine ... I thought last night's show was great (shocking, but great).

Posted by: sheri at April 4, 2007 5:03 PM

Sounds like y'all got that there degree at the same place as my husband.

(He swears he could intibate someone if necessary.)

Posted by: s@bd at April 4, 2007 6:27 PM

sorry - i left the wrong URL.

Posted by: s@bd at April 4, 2007 6:28 PM

Oh my god! How did we miss each other at all these hospitals? I did my residency at every one of those!

Posted by: Maribeth at April 4, 2007 6:47 PM

Hey Doc, it really hurts when I do this. Any suggestions?

Posted by: Wicked H at April 4, 2007 7:08 PM

I had no idea your medical resume was so extensive. Mine pretty much just consists of watching Grey's Anatomy.

Posted by: angela at April 4, 2007 8:05 PM

that made me laugh out loud, we went to the same med school, almost exactly.

Posted by: jodi at April 4, 2007 11:07 PM

We miss you at Seattle Grace!! ;)

Cute post. But I have to agree, you should go to the doctor Chris. Make sure you are alright. No need to snuffle for months and months because of your being obstinate.

Posted by: Teenuh at April 5, 2007 3:17 AM

Impressive resume.

My credentials include a few of these.

Feel better.

Posted by: Maria at April 5, 2007 3:52 AM

Are you the guy on House who mis-diagnoses the patient as having sarcoidosis in the episode where... well... I guess that would be just about every episode...

Posted by: Kaz at April 5, 2007 9:51 AM

Heehee! (Feel better!)

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at April 5, 2007 7:10 PM

This was totally hilarious. And not unlike me...except for house...because I so can't even think about watching that because I am too much of a worrier/hypocondriac.

Posted by: Amy at April 5, 2007 7:39 PM