The sporting guide to becoming a doctor:
Settle down please, Final Med class. Thank you. I am sure you are as relieved as I am to hear that this will be my final lecture to you as Dean. No, I am not going – you are, thank God. Please stop that unseemly cheering. This is the lecture that nobody tells you about and will never be discussed afterwards.
Ah, I thought that would shut you up.
Today I will pick the branch of medicine you will practice when you leave here. Which postgraduate college shall get your money? Will you treat the crippled, the wounded, the lame, the infirm, the worried well or merely the well off? It is all down to me. Think of me as your own Sorting Hat.
How do I do it? No, not results. You obviously have more faith in the system than we do. I do it by sport, of course.
We have to start somewhere, so how about you lot at the back? Yes, the ones sneering and scratching your thick necks. Let me see you; muscular and loud, and you hang about in a group. Not a trace of self-doubt, and you’ll have a go at anything. Rugby players? Of course. It’s obvious; you’re going to be surgeons. Off with you now. Stop shoving.
That was easy. Any hurlers here? Camogie? Yes, hockey too. Ah, look at you. Fit honest, ready to work round the clock .You have mastered hundreds of skill sets. And you will be excellent general practitioners. Off to the office and sign up.
There they go. Decent, honest boys and girls. I would appreciate it if you don’t yet tell them they won’t make any money despite all their hard work and training. Amateur ethos, you know.
Yes, you with your hand in the air. No I’m not ignoring you. You keep saying that. Cricket, is it ? Well, you sit around a lot of the time, nobody knows what you’re talking about, and the punters are asleep. Anaesthetics is the job for you.
You lot.Yes? Oh dear. Soccer, you say. Let’s see; you complain loudly at the slightest grievance. You’re boring. You go on for far too long. You bang on about teamwork, and pass the buck whenever you can. And you’re off sick half the time. Psychiatrists if I ever saw.
My goodness, there are a lot of you. Off you go, and try not to fall over on the way out. No referees here.
You two – the unhealthy looking pale ones. Snooker is it? Knew by the pallor. You spend all day in a dark basement away from normal people, doing the same thing over and over. You are obviously born pathologists.
And you. You play darts do you? Well, you are a special case .You take one look at the board and instantly know what to do. You throw something at it. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. You will make a splendid dermatologist. The good news is that you can drink on the job more than the rest of us, lucky thing. Oh. There are a lot of you left. How about you, with the beard and the tattoos? Mixed martial arts, you say? You say you’re the best of the lot, do you? We got a memo about this. Ah, yes, a comparative newcomer. Loud and pushy. They are making up the rules as they go along. That’s it. Medical education. Off with you.
Thank goodness he’s gone. There was no need for half that effing and blinding. Imagine: med ed is a speciality now. In my time we did it for a rest.
Any golfers? Thought so. You’ll be physicians. It will suit you. You only talk to each other, and you can be as fussy and pedantic as you like
Any golfers? Thought so. You’ll be physicians. It will suit you. You only talk to each other, and you can be as fussy and pedantic as you like.
Tennis players? Obstetrics. No argument. Yes, I am serious.
Triathlon? Radiology. You’ll need the rest. Rugby coaching? Has to be research. If you can understand the rules of rugby, you can wrap your brains around anything.
Gaelic footballers? Public health for you lot. You can get as worked up as you like about things nobody else cares about.
What about you? You don’t play but you watch it on telly? Ah, I see, a hurler on the ditch. Knows it all but won’t commit. I’m sorry to say that you’ll just have to be a commentator; one of that lot who write the medical columns in the medical papers. Get out of here and never darken this door again. There’s always one, unfortunately.
So just you left. You don’t even watch sport, let alone play it? No interest? Between you and me, I can’t say I blame you. Never mind – you’ll make a great politician.