Pictures of you part 3

Today was lots of naked models and jelly.

I imagine that probably got your attention.

the naked models were slightly hairy medical students from RCSI and the jelly was the slightly bluish ultrasound gel needed to conduct ultrasonic waves in the MHz range.

Lots more Americans turned up to do the lectures and run the workshops. All armed with Apple macs that refused to work with any of the local projection equipment. Though they persisted and in the end it was worth it. I don’t say it often but they were really nice power point slides with little moving ultrasound images and all.

For the course they’d flown over what looks like the whole department of emergency ultrasound from St Luke’s Roosevelt hospital in New York.

Yes that’s right they have a whole department of emergency ultrasound. We don’t even have an ultrasound machine and they’ve got a whole flipping department.

We got to poke the medical students to our hearts content and used the machines to help put large needles in little jelly blocks to simulate central lines.

Socially, courses are always weird.

There’s a lot of people finding their space in the crowd – the conversations usually start with where you’re working and then the all important what level you work at. This helps you find your level in the caste system of medicine.

Having finally graduated to the middle-grade of doctordom (i like that word) there’s a certain acknowledgment of seniority – if not necessarily competence!

We have all kinds of ways of talking ourselves up a grade by throwing in stories of exams and previous jobs and that time you diagnosed the phaeochromocytoma simply by shaking hands with the prime minister’s wife.

All this makes us feel good about ourselves as our spouses, family or friends have no idea what kind of miraculous super humans we are and so it’ good to get together and stroke our own egos a bit.

No one wants to appear stupid on a course. It’s like the first day at a new school. It’s all bravado and bullshit.

Unfortunately it was pissing down by the time i was leaving so further plans of dandering round dublin were scuppered so i headed straight back (via a bookshop and 30 euros of purchases…) to the hotel and dived into the episodes of House I’d brought along for such an occasion.

Adventurous i know.

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April 2009
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