Friday, September 27, 2013

The Providential Clockwork Universe: Choice Quotes

Sometimes I am sent to passengers, and sometimes they are sent to me. I have learned any number of things from the people who have stepped into my cab. Sometimes they drop one-liners that are insightful, profound, or just make me wonder: "... Really?"

The other afternoon I pulled up to a Tilted Kilt, which is a restaurant / sports bar with a female wait staff in skimpy uniforms. The woman who was to be my passenger had a slight smell of alcohol about her - maybe she was an employee, maybe she was a patron. Not all passengers talk back, but she asked questions, and I answered as appropriate.

When we got to her apartment she paid her fare, and dropped a gem: "Now I've got to go deal with the boyfriend, who's a Drunkasaurus-Rex. He's kind of an asshole." I would've compared notes about how to deal with alcoholics, but we were at her destination. I bid her adieu and went back to work.

Sometime this summer I was sent to pick someone up at a hospital. She was going to the airport to fly somewhere to interview for another fellowship, as her current fellowship at this hospital was coming to a close.

Doctors go to doctor school, then to residency. After residency they can go into practice, or go for a "fellowship" to become a specialist. Fellowships are post-residency vocational training. This doctor had been through a Radiology fellowship, then a pediatric radiology fellowship, and was quite exasperated that she couldn't find a job.

I didn't tell her that she is now overqualified for most of the jobs that she could have gotten as a radiologist, but when I retell this story I give my quip every time.

What really got me from this passenger was the statement of her exasperation: "How is Medicine supposed to attract the best and the brightest, if there are no jobs for us when we finish?"

Really? Doctors think like that? Hrmph. There are things in caring for people that are more important than test scores.

My passengers don't like going to the doctor very much, because all they get is a few minutes of the doctor's time, another test, the run-around, and some pills that don't help a whole lot. But they go with the hope that this next doctor might know something that all the others don't.

Drunkasaurus Rex probably doesn't actually like being drunk, but no one knows how to help him, not even 'the best and the brightest'.

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