Issue #111 – “First Opinion” – June 25th, 2007

-I don’t particularly enjoy going to the doctor, and I’m terrified by the sight of my own blood, but I’ve always been fascinated by the lives of my friends who practice medicine.  (Side note: weird how it’s called “practicing” medicine – as if it’s akin to working on your jump shot.)  My doctor friends seem to genuinely enjoy when I pepper them with annoying medical questions – and they usually know all the answers.  Ever ask one of your lawyer friends a legal question?  They not-so-subtly sigh, roll their eyes, then plead ignorance because it’s outside the scope of their firm’s practice (again with the practicing).  That’s why, when it comes to the coolest job a twentysomething can have, there’s no second opinion needed: the doctors are in.

-As a borderline hypochondriac, I decide which of my friends to turn to for an impromptu diagnosis not by the field they specialize in, but by their personal experience.  For instance, if I think I feel a lump, I call Christina – even though she’s an anesthesiologist – because she beat cancer many years ago.  Just like when I strained my groin, I called my buddy Shermdog – even though he’s an orthopedic surgeon – because he gets a lot of pussy and thus is probably well-versed in the intricacies of the crotch region.

-Ever notice that the person who takes your blood at the doctor’s office seems to have become less and less trained?  It used to be the doctor who did it.  Then it was the nurse.  Now it’s a medical student.  Soon the UPS guy who comes to pick up the samples and take them to the lab is just gonna prick you on the way out.

-I’ve always wondered how doctors choose weird specialties.  Pediatrician?  Fine, you like kids.  Orthopedic surgeon?  Well, fixing broken bones is cool.  But I know a guy who’s a liver specialist.  How did he pick the liver?  You can’t even fucking see it from the outside!  I know alcohol can harm the liver, but it must take a shitload of drinking to decide to study it.

-It took eons to get an appointment with my last doctor, but the one I have now can always see me right away.  The fact that he’s so available kind of scares me.  I call up and the receptionist is like, “Can you come in tomorrow?” and I’m like, “Um, well, how about in three weeks?”

-I love when parents are so blindly proud of their children that they’ll believe whatever the hell their kids tell them.  This guy I used to rent an apartment from was telling me about his very successful twenty-two-year-old son.  He told me, ever so proudly, that his son was an “an assistant brain surgeon.”  I had to physically stifle a laugh.  I just wanted to say to the guy, “Yeah, that’s not even a real job.  I’m pretty sure your son sells pot.”

-At least three male doctors I know are engaged or married to female doctors.  At first I thought it was just because they’re always in the hospital surrounded by each other and misery loves company.  But then I realized that the reason male doctors marry female doctors… is that female doctors are super hot.  I think I’d like to date a doctor chick some day.  After all, they work crazy hours, they make good money, and they’re not terrified by the sight of my blood.  To me, that’s the perfect girl – unless it turns out she gets around so much that she’s well-versed in the intricacies of the crotch region… even though she’s a liver specialist.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I saw this guy in the street the other day, and although I couldn’t see which NBA team was on his t-shirt, I could tell the shirt read “Eastern Conference Champions.”  Who buys a shirt like that?  Either he got the shirt after his team made the Finals and he didn’t think they’d win it all (otherwise he’d have waited for the World Champions t-shirt), or his team did in fact lose in the Finals and he got the shirt afterwards to celebrate how far they’d made it anyway.  Either way, the moral of this story is that I spend way too much time staring at random dudes in the street.

-Is there an entire cottage industry dedicated to making things that hang on the walls in dentists’ offices?  That just seems like a very specific niche.  I mean, you’re not exactly diversifying your revenue streams by solely producing caricatures of mice covered in floss and alligators getting their teeth pulled.

-One thing that I don’t do very well is sleep.  Although my insomniac tendencies were the original impetus for writing this column, almost ten years later it’d be nice to get some fucking shuteye for once.  I’ve even tried using a Carrie Bradshaw-style eye mask, which actually kind of worked (though for the sake of my manhood, I almost hoped it wouldn’t).  When I do finally doze off, I’ve been told I sleep like Dracula – flat on my back, arms crossed over my chest.  And while I’m no believer in dream analysis, for as long as I can remember, my dreams have always had one recurring theme:  frustration.  Weird stuff like the airline losing my luggage but I can’t even remember what kind of suitcase I had, or a hot doctor chick wants to bang me but I can’t get the door to my bedroom open.  Even weirder is the fact that my real bedroom doesn’t even have a door.  Let Freud chew on that.

-Recently, I passed this guy in the mall who looked just like me.  Think about how odd that is.  Usually you only notice strangers who look like people you know, not who look like you.  It kind of freaked me out.  Frankly, though, I was just glad my double wasn’t wearing an “Eastern Conference Champions” t-shirt.

-And, finally, my surgeon buddy Shermdog, who as I’ve mentioned has always impressed me with his prowess with the ladies, recently shared with me one of his tenets.  He said, and I quote: “Being a doctor and getting laid are very similar concepts.  You are actively focusing all your attention and energy on one person – it’s not fake; it’s real – and they know it.”  I thought that, first of all, Shermdog clearly cares very deeply about his patients.  And second of all, only he could compare sex to surgery and make them both sound so profound.  I continue to be fascinated by the passion, dedication, and knowledge that doctors undoubtedly possess.  At the end of each day, they must collapse with exhaustion.  Though I have a feeling that in Dr. Shermdog’s dreams, the bedroom door is wide open.  Fuck me.