in many of my earlier posts I have narrated some where I have been the protaganist
Today let me dwelve upon some which happened when I was studying in medical college .( ages back ) ( kilpauk Medical College Chennai )
To begin with I remember with fondness one of our surgical chiefs who I would term politely to be a trifle on the larger side with a roomy middle ,
he was a good showman and in the large outpatient clinics we had ,he always had a flexible plastic knee hammer with a knob on one side and his habit was to twiddle the rod end ( soft ) on the patients tummy as the patient lay in the centre of the whole crowd of students ,
As he continued to twiddle the patient would wriggle getting tickled ,suddenly our boss would take the rod and it would go straight into his mouth as he absent mindedly chewed on it with the stunned patient looking speechless at this culinary preference of the physician and we all would try to supress our giggles .
Once he dramatically asked a pateint during rounds
" Are you passing gas ? "
The patient replied meekly
"yas saar little little "( Konjam Konjam in Tamil )
"konjam konjam ! what else do you expect you want to have a storm or what with lightening and thunder " was his reply !
( pinna enna puyala adikkum ? ) .
He used to sit in a chair surrounded by all of us standing around trying to catch what he said and he had the habit of swinging his chair slowly backwards and one fine day he went all the way back and was rescued by two juniors just before he hit the floor
The two juniors was at the wrath from many of us for that untimely rescue !
There was another famous surgeon whose feats in the operation theatre were woven into ballads ! like Keralas vadakkan pattus
this man was a no nonsense person
he was perfect in what he did and was an excellent surgeon
But he made spines shudder when he was angry .
I remember him particularly well in my final year exam clinicals
One had to had to identify gross pathology specimens and this part of the exam was called spotters .
The sight of the big man himselves sitting unglaring in front of a floating tissue in glass would unerve anyone particulary a meek exam candiadte like me but that day I was brimming with confidence as I knew what the specimen was and was all ago to go at it and so I went on describing to him all about the testicular seminoma specimen ( a testicular tumour ) which I thought was what the specimen was all about ,
Dr V ......made an interested listener nodding and even smiling at me benignly and prodding me on
I started imaging I was so good that he was seriously considering to offer me a surgical residency once i passed .
At the end of it he brought me down to earth with a thud
" nice my dear fellow you know a lot about the testicle and its seminoma but for your information this is a thyroid !!!! and not a testes !!! "
Of course I got through that year but no surgical residency ever came my way !
The very same surgeon is known to have been called recurrently by another famous surgeon who was known for his teaching skills and also known for his poor operating skills whenever he got into catostrophies !
It was during my third year we were all eagerly standing around with masked faces trying to peep into an operative field as the great man cut and snipped .
In the pecking order the third years were infants nay neonatals ,
The operation theatre of a teaching medical college is rigidly caste ridden !
In the front there were the great chiefs who were like kings and emperors
The Assistant profesors who were the only people who could contradict or converse with the king in a somewhat equal term came second in heirachy.
There were the post graduates whose only intent was to get maximum experience and learn and get into the good books of the kings and the Assistants
Then came the interns or house surgeons who were always exhausted by thier continious work schedules They were bent on finishing thier jobs and going back to the hostel for a smoke or whatever they did for thier relaxation .
There were the Final year students who had that studious exam look carved into thier serious faces
The fourth years came next they alternatively admired thier seniors while scorning thier juniors .
Of course we had the Anaesthetists who were operating room creatures and kept straying in and out occasionaly playing with thier machines or twiddling with BP cuffs while cracking jokes with the surgeons and Assistants depending on thier intimacy levels with the kings
These men and women lived thier lives in the operation theatres rarely meeting thier pateints when awake !but were true professionals excellent in thier strenous jobs
There were also homely matrons who ruled the operating room region with iron hands and even ticked off the kings for misdemenours at times !
There were nurses who scampered around expect the big ones who assisted the emperors with sure confidence coming out of experience over the years
Each surgeon had his special team of nurses and Assistants .
We the third years amongst all this activity were literally the outcastes banished to the outermost periphery pushed and jostled by the crowd .
we were literally non entities
Finding our what was happening in such a place was mostly by imagination and by auditory.more than visual inputs .
The clip and snip of a scissor or the slide of a scalpel would let us know that the operation was well on its way .
In this dramatic scenario one of my classmates ,I would just call him K ( by now he should some professor or director of some institute somewhere so why offend by naming him ! ).