Respectful Insolence

Via The Onion (of course), Dr. Mike Ruddy proclaims:

‘m a doctor, and I’m damn good at it. Why? Because I learned to be a doctor the old-fashioned way: gumption, elbow grease, and trial and error. I’m not one of these blowhards in a white coat who’ll wear your ears out with 10 hours of mumbo-jumbo technical jargon about “diagnosis” this and “prognosis” that, just because he loves the sound of his own voice. No sir. I just get the job done.

Those fancy-pants college-boy doctors are always making a big deal about their “credentials.” But I’m no show-off phony with a lot of framed pieces of paper on the wall–I’m the real deal. I got my M.D. on the street. These people think they’re suddenly a “doctor” because they memorized a lot of big words and took a bunch of formal tests. But there’s plenty of things about being a doctor they’ll never learn in their ivory-tower medical school.

For example, did you know that human intestines, if they spill out of the abdomen during surgery, can spool out all over the floor if you’re not careful? You won’t find that in a book, my friend.

When it comes to practicing medicine, I focus on the basics. In a life-threatening situation, you’ve got to think on your feet. I don’t waste time going on and on about which virus is which or whose blood type is whose. I get out the tools, roll up the shirt sleeves, slick back my hair, and get in there all the way up to the elbows. The patient’s not going to magically heal just because you know a lot of complicated terms like “bovine spongiform encephalitis,” or “antibiotics.”


Got his M.D. on the street? Maybe this guy and Hulda Clark should get together and set up a clinic.

Oh, and the surgery books do actually tell you how to treat the small intestine when doing abdominal surgery to keep it from “spilling out all over the floor.” Well, that’s not exactly what they tell you. Thanks to the mesentery that tethers the small bowel to the posterior wall of the abdominal cavity, the bowel usually won’t reach that far outside the body without some help. You’d think Dr. Ruddy would know that if he had as much “practical experience” as he claims.

Comments

  1. #1 Jerry
    June 22, 2006

    Also, from the article:

    “Jesus, you ever look at one of those scans? They’re just a lot of crazy shapes. The only sure-fire method for figuring out what’s inside a man’s body is to go in there and take a look for yourself. And if you want to put a shunt or a valve into a person, you don’t rely on gimmicks like tubes and syringes. You get your hands a little dirty, you open them up, and shove it right in there where it belongs.”

    He should be put in jail. I pity his patients.

  2. #2 ken nielsen
    June 22, 2006

    You don’t suppose it’s a joke, do you?

  3. #3 sharon
    June 22, 2006

    Um, Ken beat me to it. This is The Onion we’re talking about, yes? Satire, parody, spoof, etc? Examples from the sidebar to this piece…

    * Fan-Favorite First Season Of Bush Administration Released On DVD
    * Report: U.S. May Have Been Abused During Formative Years

    And this may be particularly apt under the circumstances:
    * Exhausted Video Editor Can’t Tell If Blooper Reel Is Funny Anymore

  4. #4 Orac
    June 22, 2006

    Uh, yes, it’s a spoof, and a funny one–which is why I posted it. That’s what The Onion does.

  5. #5 KJS3
    June 22, 2006

    You know, it’s not nearly as funny when you feel the need to explain the jokes…

  6. #6 Paul
    June 22, 2006

    But sometimes it’s funny that you have to explain the jokes. Don’t worry, Jerry. We laugh and point because we love you.

  7. #7 big al
    June 22, 2006

    I remember when I was a young man, there was an article in the paper, about a doctor, who was retiring, and he was the last doctor in Canada, who had qualified thru’ an apprenticeship, I misremeber his age but I think 90.

  8. #8 Ruth
    June 22, 2006

    Sinclair Lewis wrote a great book about the training of a doctor around 1900, called “Arrowsmith”. The main character begins as a doctors apprentice, then goes off to one of these new fangled medical schools (rumor was it was based on the University of Michigan). He then annoys most of his teachers by asking for scientific proof that the treatments they were studying actually worked.

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