What Brings You Here Today?

It’s the morning, and I’m pissed off. I hate the mornings, and for a good two hours after I wake up I will respond to everything with grunts and fuck-offs. This morning, the window is extended because we’re covering Psychology. I’ve written before here and here about my love-hate relationship with this field. I’m fascinated by the science and the ability to so expertly manipulate someone towards their own health. And I hate the greyness of it. The discipline seems too much organized by symptoms and not enough by mechanism.

So despite my attraction, I can never love Psych and like so much unrequited love, we have agreed to hate each other.

I am not alone, as Kelly hates Psych too. Dyslexic as hell, Kelly fights tooth and nail to remember all these facts without rhyme or reason. Pharm is especially difficult for him while Physiology and Pathology come more easily because they “aren’t retarded and make sense like they’re supposed to.”

***I asked him once to describe how he remembers some of the drugs.

It’s not that bad. Chlorpromazine is Chlorxxxxxxxx. Carbamazepine is Carbxxxxxxxxxx. Carmustine is Carmxxxxxx. I get by.

For all the precocious dyslexic children out there: Yes, you can become a physician.***

Kelly and I are sitting in the Commons at Xavier University, hating life and Psychology with it’s lack of any framework when Kelly let’s out a victory cry. By this, I mean he cried out, “VICTORY FOR KELLY!” to the entire Commons (empty with everyone off to Spring Break).

Kelly’s a humble guy and not the type to dabble in the third person, so I’m curious. “What’s your problem?”

“Dude, remember those asshole clinical tutors in Grenada?”

“Of course.”

“Okay, just play along. ‘What brings you here today?'”

“That’s easy: an ambulance.” Here, I think I’m being clever. I wrote about it here, but the “What brings you here today?” question is famous in Grenada for quickly unmasking the good clinical tutors from the dicks who jump down your throught.

You cannot ask that question! The patient could say ‘car’ or ‘taxi’ or ‘ambulance’. You have to ask a question that can only be answered with the information you want.

Wow, you’re so right. I can’t believe I made such a mistake. I should always assume that the patient coming to me with a problem won’t be able to fight the urge to be a smartass as you’ve so expertly demonstrated. I’ve made a note to myself. Moving on…

And this is why Kelly had declared victory. “You’re Schizophrenic!”


“Yeah! Schizophrenics have difficulty with abstract thought, cannot understand irony, and use language literally. The only person that would ever answer “ambulance” is probably schizophrenic! Do you have any idea how many people presenting to the ER have a psych problem? I think it’s all of them! If you can separate the schizos from everyone else with your first question, then that makes this the BEST question you could probably ask! They should be teaching this to everyone! Oh GOD how I wish I could travel back in time and make those tutors feel like morons over this. Toph, you have to promise me that you’ll write about this on your blog. You have to make sure that every student at SGU knows about this so they can rub it in those tutors’ faces.”

Well, I promised.


2 Responses to What Brings You Here Today?

  1. Lerone Bleasdille says:


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