Friday, March 16, 2007

This Post Is Brought To You By The Letter 'B'

B. What does B stand for, children? Let us count together.

Firstly, it stands for bitching. Which is what this post is going to be about. So if you can't stand a pissed-off medic ranting about his extremely sad but ironically humourous medicky excuse for a life, then for heaven's sake, press the back button now and go back to whichever porn site you came from. Or go here and dance with the fluffy bunnies.

Secondly, B stands for Type B. As in Type B medical students. As explained by Michelle of Michelle vs The Med Student.

Normally it's tough being a Type B in a med school. You aren't as driven as some of the people in your classroom, fine. You don't take as many notes, fine. You don't score 99% on every test, fine. You still graduate, get unleashed on the poor sods who are going to be your patients, and get to do doctorly stuff like jab people and stuff your fingers up their bums. And as long as you don't kill anyone, you'll be okay. (If you DO kill someone, then you're either 1) very unlucky, or 2) an idiot. Don't point at me and tell the judge at your malpractice trial "But some Cambridge medic said it was okay if I killed a few people along the way!" --Editor)

But to be a Type B medical student in Cambridge? Cambridge, Seat of Academic Power, Home of Zombie Lecturers Who Stay In Their Labs All Day, Birthplace of Research So Impressively Named It Makes Your Granny's False Teeth Fall Out Just Pronouncing It?

Burn in hell, SINNER!

A Cambridge Biochemistry lecturer

Oh heck no. If you don't sit in the library for at least 8 hours a day and whack some fat textbook against your forehead until you can recite everything in it including the author's grandmother's favourite dog's name, then you're not fit to be in Cambridge. You're a Type B. Throw off those fake glasses, you bastard, and pack your bags. Here's a ticket to Hull. Try your luck there, and if they don't take you in, we've already told the British Institute of Learning Disabilities you're coming. Retard.

What else can we find for the letter B? Oh yes, here's one: burnout. As written about magnificently by the inimitable Sid Schwab of Surgeonsblog. I had a supervision today where my supervisor was a real doctor (you know, one of those sad blokes who slaves away in hospital, not some aging hippie who has a PhD and sits in a lab for 5 months obsessing over some obscure molecule which about 3 people in the world genuinely care about. --Ed). As some of you know, I'm interested in doing surgery as a career. I tell my supervisor this. And he tells me he's never doing surgery because it's a horrible, horrible specialty, where all the extremely competitive anal-retentive medics just backbite and bitch about each other in a mad scramble to the top. In fact, he goes so far as to say "It's just like an episode of The Apprentice".

The true nature of surgery

Why the hell am I doing medicine again? Remind me, someone. Please. Answers on the back of a postcard to Jesus College, Cambridge. Either that, or send me a 9mm handgun so I can put myself out of my misery. (But not before taking out a few of my course organisers first. Hey, if I'm going to hell, I want company on the way down. --Ed)

And if you've managed to keep reading this far without passing out cold on your laptop or taking me up on my earlier offer of clicking over to Fluffy Bunny Land, then congrats! I'm not all moan moan bitch bitch, you know. There's some meaning to this B nonsense I've been spouting all this while, and it's that I've finally made the blogging B-list, according to this little Bloglebrity gadget. I've been wanting to make it out of the C-list for a while, and now I'm finally on the B-List. Give it a click and see what list you're on. (Disclaimer: The results are UTTERLY MEANINGLESS and don't mean a thing about blogging ability or popularity, in fact. It's just another one of my lame ways to pass the time whilst waiting to fail my degree. --Ed)

Now excuse me whilst I go do a little lame dance now to celebrate the fact that whilst I am totally and utterly screwed in my career and my life, I at least am nerdy enough to be able to maintain a blog. Though I may have to change its name soon. The Angry Lawyer, anyone? The Angry MBA-Holder? The Angry Construction Worker? Catchy, no?


Anonymous said...

Don't listen to fuckwits. Any specialty is made up of the people in it. Become a stereotype by all means if that's what you want, but it's completely possible to be successful without being a stereotype. Really, it is. You've just been speaking to the wrong people.

dan said...

"press the back button now and go back to whichever porn site you came from"

i did not know porn sites linked you! wow, that is an achievement. so when are you making your dvd? "surgeons gone wild" or "human anatomy with Dr. Angry Medic" ? :P

The Angry Medic said...

Anonymous: Thanks. I needed to hear that. It didn't cross my mind (for whatever reason; ignorance prolly, but brain damage more likely) that you can be successful in a profession without being a stereotype. I thought Grey's Anatomy was fictional, with its uber-competitive and all-knowing surgeons, but now it seems like that really IS what surgery is like. And medicine itself. Can you be non-competitive and nice and still not be eaten alive in medicine?


Dan: Heh. "Surgeons Gone Wild"? That's actually quite funny. I'm stealing that for a future rant.

Man, it felt good writing this post. The last time I felt this good was when I wrote that blog post that got taken down. Wonder why people don't like it though. Or is my comment box not working?

N=1 said...

You definitely have "surgeon-tude."

Go for it - delta back over to surgery where you can have some fun, why don't you?

But go easy on us aging fogies, OK?


Anonymous said...

Angry - it's ABSOLUTELY possible to be successful without being a stereotype. In fact I think it should be encouraged.

I was tutoring on a surgical skills course recently. I was the only trainee on the faculty - the other four were extremely important surgeons. Quite famous within their fields - the sort of guys I'd heard about, read about, and imagined to be mythical.

During the course, I was... more than pleasantly surprised... I was delighted to get to know them, and to discover that they were extremely friendly, modest chaps. Shy, even. Bloody brilliant with the students.

It topped up my levels of ambition and hope. It confirmed that - far from being unable to make their way in surgery - the kind, sweet, modest guys were the ones who'd made it right to the top of the ladder.


HospitalPhoenix said...

Oh! anon is me by the way. I can't always be bothered to sign in.

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

You keep 'The Angry Medic'... it's a good 'B'log. Hope you will be joining the march tomorrow. Michelle

Chrysalis Angel said...

If you site turns into a lawyer's blog, I'll be waving bye-bye medic.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Bloody bitchin' blogpost!

Couldn't resist the alliteration.

adam said...

Why you ask? To get lots and lots of chicks. Period. That's why they give us a rubber one to practice on in first year.

Eugene Lau said...

B for doctor (in german, doctor is behandeln, although it is the verb doctor rather than the noun)

Eugene Lau said...

An anagram for 'The Angry Medic' is 'The icy grAd Men'

or a nicer on 'The cAndy griMe'.
*the song "I want candy" running in the background.

Anonymous said...

Your favourite charity is comic relief? I thought comic relief was a whole bunch of charities.

Anyway, if we're playing 'whats your favourite charity' mine's Childline.

Nathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nathan said...

*edited for spelling. Maybe I'm not as type B as I thought*

Actually, I think your supervisor was right and wrong. It isn't really possible to succeed in surgery (judging from the surgeons I know) without a certain amount of "I am a god" attitude. HOWEVER, this doesn't mean you have to be mean about it. After all, for every Ares, there is an Apollo.

Maybe that's senselessly obscure. (I think I'm funny too, but for some reason, my latest quip about risperidone hasn't drawn any pleased commentary either, so maybe I should adjust my style.) The point is, you can be supremely confident without being a complete ass. And while the best surgeons I've known were very sure of themselves, they were nice, caring, genuine people who just had a cavalier attitude about losing sleep, missing meals, and having to be very deliberate about scheduling time with their families. One of them told me "you don't have to be completely absent from your family and friends to be a surgeon. But you do have to decide whether your son's baseball game or a round of golf is more important."

Maybe lifestyles are different with UK docs, but I'd be more concerned about that than with attitude. People are people everywhere. If you made it this far, you are able to make it as far as you choose.

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Angry Medic: I think you are witty and funny as heck---and extremely entertaining! And you have that rare gift of being both intelligent AND funny! Visiting your blog always cracks me up and makes me think. And I love your pics. Please don't ever stop blogging! (And I envy your patients!)

Cal said...

Jesus. I can't even begin to imagine the pressure you guys must be put under.

But as everyone here has said - listen not to turds who reel out stereotypes and tell you what you can and cannot do.

Angry MEDIC you shall stay.

I hope things start to look up for you now that your term ends soon and you can get a decent break. (is it just me or is that waaaay too early for your term to end??)

I, meanwhile, shall be in theatre at 8am sharp twice a week seeing hernia repairs. Probably with AAA breathing down my neck.


Nathan said...

By the way, I love the pic of the Biochem lecturer. My biochem class was so bad, and our student body complained so loudly, that the administration forced the department to completely redesign the course for the class after us. At least they'll learn something.

b3r3n_pAhAt3ld said...

u forgot B is for BUM u BUM!!

n wuts all this nonsense...type B medic though u may be...but ur THE SINGH....n the singh i noe doesnt let sumthing so small get in his way...

u've nvr cared abt results...u get them cz ur a instead u spend ur time developing urself n ur many interest...ur filled with life experiences...

thats d kinda stuff u cant get by mugging in d library all day...thats d kinda stuff those sad sods of type A medics will nvr learn...will nvr noe...n hence will nvr live...

u may be a type B medic...but because U are who U r...being a type B medic will make u an A-class doctor n surgeon..

n yes...i truly believe dat...:D

the little medic said...

If you do decide to give up medicine perhaps you could be a professional blogger?!

Seriously though, you can beat the stereotypes! (at least I hope so, otherwise i'm fucked too)

Anyways, chin up and keep at it.

Cal said...

Just to clarify, Angry, I wasn't trying to make you jealous!! I meant it in a reassuring manner. As in, I'll have to be waking up at 5:30 to get into theatre by 8:00, and will probably have AAA finding some kind of fault with everything I do, whereas you'll get to have a long lie in (and eat good food if you're moving back home for Easter!)

And to clarify another point (or actually ask!) I have replied to your comment, but at my own blog, but I thought I'd post here too so that you didn't think I haven't replied!

The Angry Medic said...

n=1: Whoa, thanks for the compliment! (At least, I THINK it was a compliment. Is surgeon-tude slang for constantly clenched anal sphincters and a huge ego? you insulting me? *scratches head* Oww, me head hurts.)

HospitalPhoenix: thanks HP. That really got me thinking (and a few other medics who read this too). Were they SERIOUSLY like that? I mean, they sound like that doctor in the MTAS March video on Dr Crippen's front page. I'd imagine they were more suited to become consultant paediatricians than macho surgeons.

Actually, we at Cambridge have got our first career choices coming up, and I could use your advice. Check your inbox soon!

And oh, I figured 'Anonymous' was you. You have a distinctive ranting tone :)

Dr Tempest: Aww thanks! That's high praise.

And unfortunately I couldn't join the march, due to some archaic Cambridge accommodation rule, but I was there in spirit, and I really enjoyed the videos you put up (especially the one with the consultant paediatrician. That was REALLY moving). Like I said on your blog, great work :)

Chrysalis Angel: *gasp* Ooh, that's encouragement enough to forget about law and stay with medicine! :)

Dr Serani: Hohoho...I didn't think of that. That IS some amazing alliteration ability :)

HospitalPhoenix said...

thanks HP. That really got me thinking (and a few other medics who read this too). Were they SERIOUSLY like that? I mean, they sound like that doctor in the MTAS March video on Dr Crippen's front page. I'd imagine they were more suited to become consultant paediatricians than macho surgeons.
Seriously, yes. They're lovely guys. It makes sense if you think about it - the genuinely brilliant and talented guys don't NEED to behave like idiots and trample on others in order to get to the top. Idealistic maybe, but I think it's still true.

And oh, I figured 'Anonymous' was you. You have a distinctive ranting tone :)
Ah. I see. Maybe I should work on that:

Lots of love
Phoenix xxx

The Angry Medic said...

Adam: Oh, is THAT why? Dangit. Now why didn't they go ahead and say so in the prospectus? Dang.

(Oh, and true to Cambridge spirit, we don't get rubber chicks in the first year, only in the 4th. Not that we have any use for one...The sheer volume of work just makes our sex drive shrivel up).

Eugene: Oho, you witty witty person you. Using the sog I danced to in a sentence? Oho. Oh har har.

Anonymous: Oh. Uhm. Well. Then I like the whole group of charities. So there.

(Childline does awesome work, by the way.)

Nathan: Aww, I thought your risperidone quip was witty! (And I said so on your blog, too.) You DO have snark when you want to, it's just that sometimes I suppose it IS a bit obscure. Don't hate yourself because you're beauti..uh, smart :)

And WHOA. You ACTUALLY got your course organisers wrists slapped? Here at Cambridge our course organisers do sod all about the course (because their job as course organisers is secondary to their jobs as Fellows who have to vomit research out to not get fired), so every year the course just keeps getting bigger and more bloated. I envy you.

The Angry Medic said...

Cal: Aww, I know you weren't trying to make me jealous. Everyone just accidentally does, cos everyone else gets to play doctor at least once a week. I get to do it next year (and only if I get into my course of choice, which apparently everyone else wants to do as well. Yay).

Bohemian:'re such a dear. Thank you so much! I was wndering where you were for a while there.

Beren Pahateld: Aw shucks, you shouldn't have. Thanks anyway brutha. Yeah, homeboy. Ah feel ya. *random gangsta rap plays in background*

Little Medic: Heh. Professional blogger? But...but that'd mean I'd have to sell my soul to Google AdWords! NOOOOOOO...

Here's to us, and Battle Against The Stereotypes. *Imperial March plays*

Patient Anonymous said...

Oh this made me laugh...good bitching. I'd say more but I'm tired. And well, at least I'm a C-Lister...I don't quite suck as bad as I thought...

Hang in there. And I agree with another poster. You don't have to be "Type A" to be good and do our job well.


911DOC said...

Great post future doc. Hey I wanted to know if in GB medical students are referred to as 'medics' as it seems they are.

Re surgery. I thought I was going to be a surgeon too when I went to medical school but was cured of the notion by a bad back, the reality of the OR, and the beaten-down lot of surgeons at my institution (they tended to transfer their beaten-downess to us and the nurses).

If you love it, do it. Otherwise, well, do dermatology.

Good luck my friend.

SeaSpray said...

Follow your heart. Keep your sights on the goal. You can do it!

Your patients are going to be really lucky to not just have a good surgeon, but one with a great sense of humor. :)

adam said...

why do you have a huge pink "X" over George's crotch?

zewt said...

glad to see you're back in the medic mode. believe you've snapped out of the down stage not too long ago eh?

by the way... really that serious in an OR?

Kenny Mah said...

Well, since it says Red Nose Day, I just clicked at the first red thing I saw...

And as for the pink X, haha. Are you trying to direct people's attention there too? ;)

The Angry Medic said...

Patient Anonymous: Aww thanks PA. Yeah, I often don't mind being a Type B's just that I've got this Donald Trump doll next to me that screams at me to get my act together every time I press a button on his back. Gets a bit stressful, you know :)

But thanks for the kind words. Did my post tire you out? Most people fall asleep halfway, so congrats on making it to the end! Hope you're feeling better :)

911doc: Whoa, it always gives me a thrill when you post. I really do enjoy your style of writing, you know.

And yep, medical students at Cambridge just call themselves 'medics'. Bit presumptuous, I know, since at the end of 3 years we know sod all about saving lives, but we had to do something to stand up to those law students with their noses so high in the air they look like upside-down one-legged stilt-walkers.

SeaSpray: Aww thanks. You always have a kind word. ALSO ALSO, I really wanna hear your views on The Apprentice. There was a good episode, and then it jumped the shark, don'tcha think?

Adam: To keep the eyes of pervs like you away. Naughty boy!

(Seriously though, I had NO IDEA I was putting that there. No, really. No, I don't fantasise about George in bed. No, I didn't get turned on when he appeared half-naked in that last episode in bed wi-- d'oh!)

Zewt: Heh. Yep, am over my downtime, just trying to get some serious work done now. Still not entirely convinced about this medicine business, but then again I've never operated well without a clear sense of purpose anyway.

And haha, nope, the ORs I've seen were all quite jovial and non-serious, but to GET into that OR takes a little more back-biting. (And you thought the scalpel-work started only in the OR...)

Kenny Mah: Oh, Kenny! You PERVERT! *slap* :)

Nathan said...

On the subject of being funny, you might enjoy this test if you're bored and have time to kill. Hahahahahah.

The Angry Medic said...

Nathan: Curse you Nathan! Now you've got me hooked on tests from OKCupid!

Heh. Thanks for the link though, it was really interesting. I'm Light, Spontaneous and Vulgar. VULGAR? Well, I never. I'm such an angel.

Anonymous said...

So what's wrong with Hull?

The Angry Medic said...

Anonymous: Uhm, why, nothing, of course. Hull has a rapidly growing medical school, doesn't it?

Just reminded me of those lines from Blackadder Goes Forth:

Captain Blackadder: And then the final, irrefutable proof. Remember, you mentioned a clever boyfriend...

Nurse Mary: Yes.

Captain Blackadder: I then leapt on the opportunity to test you. I asked if he'd been to one of the great universities, Oxford, Cambridge, or Hull.

Nurse Mary: Well?

Captain Blackadder: You failed to spot that only two of those are great Universities.

Nurse Mary: Swine!

General Melchett: That's right! Oxford's a complete dump!

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the Hull Uni, but the Medschool (HYMS) is the second best according to the Guardian in UK:,15905,-5163909,00.html

The Angry Medic said...

So it is, even in the updated version of that University Guide! They probably get to see the inside of a hospital before their 4th year, too. Lucky bums.

Glad to see Cambridge held its rankings in the other University lists though, though we lost to Harvard and MIT in the World University rankings. I'm just glad we beat Oxford :)