The sport­ing guide to be­com­ing a doc­tor:

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Front Page - Pat Har­rold

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.