PLAYING DOCTOR - Part One Medical School: Stumbling through with amnesia Book Cover PLAYING DOCTOR - Part One Medical School: Stumbling through with amnesia
by John Lawrence
Biographies & Memoirs | Humor
24 Aug 2020

"I showed up for my first day of medical school limping, confused, swathed in bloody gauze, armed with a liberal arts education, and to really set myself apart from the over-achieving pack of future doctors, lacking short-term memory." (PLAYING DOCTOR - Part One: Medical School)

John's medical memoir was born from chaotic, disjointed, funny and frightening late-night letters to friends over email (any recipients of which all those years ago will likely walk away now).

Those manic blogs from the hospital wards during under-slept call nights (which left a few friends wondering if he had invaded the hospital pharmacy) were the genesis for this book, Playing Doctor.

This is a journey through medical training as interpreted by someone who told their college career advisor that the only thing they did not want to be was a doctor-not that medical schools want you believing their training was interpretive, like a modern dance company's version of Grey's Anatomy-and started school with a traumatic brain injury.

This entertaining, heartfelt demystification of medical school via the confusion that seemed to litter John's medical trail, takes readers along the studies and clinical wards that miraculously teach students how to care for patients. The follow up books cover residency.

I laughed out loud at many places in this book – and also showed paragraphs to my husband who also laughed. So serious and yet so ridiculously true.

Personally, my daughter and I, are often used by the Consultants as what they call informed patients. They send the baby doctors over to us to take an in-depth assessment of what is wrong with us and to make a diagnosis. As we are informed patients, we frequently find we have to give large hints to the babies. Like feel this – or look more carefully at that, or what often comes alongside that. And then they proudly go off to tell the consultants what they have found out, but have still missed the most telling diagnosis even after all the help we give them. We aren’t permitted to actually tell them the answers, just to prompt them. They only want us to answer yes or no – see location 725, they don’t realize that there is never a yes or no answer. When you are a patient there are always shades of grey involved.

The one most important quote I am going away with from this book is from Plato –

Plato believed that do inserts a new knee into my cavity and chips away at it to make it fit neatly and bend correctly. Well I’m not saying this during the op of course…doctors should be made up of those who had experienced injury and illness and had undertaken the treatment that they were now proposing to he patient. I totally agree. As I have said many times to my consultants – how can you say this won’t hurt much, or only a sharp scratch or.. if they not had the treatment themselves, they have no idea of the pain they will be putting me through.

And yes, i totally agree that the orthopods have he best carpentry tools. I tell my orthopod this and tell him that he is a glorified carpenter as he

I have also objected to the term doctor. As do nurses I have found out. Having studied and researched for 5 long years and written a 100,000 word dissertation of an addition to knowledge to obtain my nomenclature as a doctor, studying 3 years and passing exams which only require memory, does not a doctor make. In fact the term doctor is an honorific. Doctor comes from the Latin word for “teacher” and originally referred to a small group of theologians who had approval from the Church in the 14th century to speak on religious matters. [Merriam Dictionary],

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