January 17, 2009

Two Medical Superstitions

This was a draft during my internship (which happened to be ancient history already)...

1. Seeing Red

Try going to any tertiary hospital and most chances are, you won't see any blazer-clad doctor wearing a red shirt. It was only during clerkship that I was introduced to this curse which says that anyone who wears a predominantly red shirt will have a "toxic" duty that night. By "toxic" we mean that the poor doctor will have the following albeit in different degrees and permutations of stressful events:

1. Internal Medicine - You will have more than three cadiopulmonary arrests going on the same time that you wish you were like the Indian goddes Shiva who has six arms to do multitasking in doing CPR, including one to wipe your sweat off.

2. Pediatrics - Either you will find yourself enjoying a "children's party" at the ER where you alone have to face surly and impatient parents and devil-spawned children who you wish to send to the netherworld ala Orpheus.

3. OB-GYNE - You will realize that it's only on your particular duty where there's a deluge of mothers about to give birth as if there was a dearth of human population. Most have already 5 or 6 spawns to feed already. How these baby factories will be able to send their changelings to high school will remain a mystery.

2. Speak No Evil

It's advisable not to utter any taboo words during one's duty. Words like "toxic", "benign", and the like will have exponential effects towards the participants. Mostly into a spiral downturn into the abyss, victims recall to have uttered these curse words whereby in a span of an hour, a deluge of strokes, breech pregnancies and vehicular accidents came pouring in. And mostly these are indigent patients, so besides being a medical practitioner, one becomes a social worker spewing litanies of the benefits of having money. At times it becomes so acute that one tends to prescribe money towards these patients.

Those who name that-cannot-be-named becomes the immediate beneficiary of head-whacks and snide remarks from those who will be affected. Such is the power of words.

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