Monday, February 05, 2007

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

Im prejudice. I admit it. Im prejudice against MDs. Its not because Im 'afraid' of doctors, its because at one point I wanted to be a physician myself. I know a huge part of my problem is cognitive dissonance: I made a decision to forgo medical school, so now anytime I see a physician doing something silly I think "SEE! Look at those weirdos! Arent you glad you didnt go through with that MD nonsense?" There are so many physicians that I respect (as I shadowed them and looked up to them for years), but damn, Ive just had a string of silly MDs cross my path lately, and my prejudice against them is getting just awful.

Last Friday I was hauled away from my work to attend a presentation by a visiting big-wig who was supposedly an *expert* on HIV (no one happened to inform my boss or the other micro prof that does HIV research of this fact). His intro lasted at least 10 minutes, given by a local physician, emphasizing what a big-wig this guy was and how great he is for knowing big-wig. Visiting big-wig got to his wigginess by being a physician in San Fransisco when the HIV storm started. Im not exactly sure how noticing something is *wrong* when 20 year old men are getting Kaposis Sarcoma makes you a medical genius worthy of large wigs...

Big-wigs presentation was absolutely terrible. I have no idea what this gentleman does for a living, as he only posted pictures from UNAIDS, NIH, and others research. Anytime he talked about someone elses research, he had to spend 10 minutes explaining about what big-wigs they were, and how that increased the size of his wig. Worst of all, in his exuberance to highlight the research of people he knew, he presented some complete and utter shit. In my annoyance at leaving my bench for a Wikipedia HIV presentation that a high schooler could have created, I didnt bust his balls for it because I just wanted to leave. Unfortunately, Boss knows me as well as I know myself.

When we got back to the lab (paraphrased):
Boss: "Why didnt you bring up your points against the circumcision study?"
Me: "Its not his research. He doesnt know how to defend it."
Boss: "Hes presenting it. You have excellent points, and they have even more impact coming from a female."
Me: *frown*
Boss: *frown*

An important thing I learned in taekwondo was to never disrespect your master, either directly or through your actions. Whats more, your respect towards other masters, your ability to demonstrate your skills-- those reflect positively on your master. Q&As after presentations are similar for mentors and students-- that was an opportunity for me to demonstrate my critical thinking skills. Challenging the big-wig would have reflected well on Boss, and it was silly of me to waste the opportunity just because I was irritated.

So now Im mad at myself, and even madder at the big-wig physician.

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