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Page 15 text:
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Page 14 text:
oxygen and suddenly doubling his blood volume with transfusions, is
firmly attached to one end of an apparatus called a "retractor" and our
subject is required to grip the other end firmly while a fourth party,
known as the "surgeon" throws questions, sponges, insults, threats, hemo-
stats and resected segments of small bowel at our hero Cwho at this
point of the game is usually called a "jerk."J The "surgeon" is trying
valiantly all the while to force the "jerk" to relinquish his hold, but the
surgeons soon learn the futility of their efforts. For two compelling
reasons, the Ujerki' does not let go: CU his overwhelming, driving de-
votion to duty, and QQ after holding that thing for eight hours, he is
unable to open his hand.
Rotation through services also included the Pediatrics department
with Drs. Bosma and Kelley presiding. During this period the patients
apparently regressed to an early stage of psychosexual developmentg they
were frequently seen playing gleefully with meconium-an act which was
classically characterized by a member of the senior staff as a "singularly
scintillating, albeit esoteric demonstration of a remarkable subtle entity."
This statement provoked considerable discussion from the radiologists
who collectively felt that the pediatricians had no basis for saying what-
ever it was they said.
The department of Psychiatry, under Drs. Branch, Bliss, Tabaroff,
et al, was consulted and agreed to take over the care of these patients
for one month. Immediately upon arrival at the psychiatric ward, the
latter werel given keys-thus distinguishing them from the schizophrenics
who were being treated. After four weeks' association with the staff
and clientele of this department, the visual acuity of the patients under
discussion improved sufficiently that they, too were eventually able to
enjoy the fascinating array of small animals, secret service men and
twofheaded plaid ducks which reportedly adorned the ward.
At the close of the third year, the patients were discharged from
the hospital wards to be followed in the outfpatient clinics for the suc-
The fourth year represented a distinct change. The patients no
longer were subjected to the frustrations of learning. The previously
futile attempts to educate them were discontinued almost completely
and they were prepared for the day on which the academic umbilical
cord would be severed. Preparation for their resurrection into the cold,
cruel world was accomplished by leaving them entirely to their own
devises, with no guidance or instruction save for the efforts ofa few
Page 16 text:
kind ex-patients who could still recall the treatment they received for
a similar illness.
In the Medicine out patient clinic, they were permitted to examine
patients with ages of from 90 to 110 years who were inelligible for care
in the Pediatrics clinic. They were then asked to make a diagnosis
with which the visiting man would invariably disagree just as a matter
of couse. However, this made no difference since the diseases were
inevitably incurable and the patients were always treated with digitalis,
low-salt diet, penicillin inhalation and sent to another clinic anyway.
Surgery clinic included a number of the surgical specialties each of
which the patients mastered completely in the two weeks allotted for each.
The G. U. clinic offered interesting diversion. The patients watched
urologists push cold 8 mm. crowbars through Z mm, urethras and then
try to think of a good reason why the subject should come down off the
chandelier. ln E.N.T. clinic, everyone, whether they were in for sinusitis,
otitis, tonsilitis, or for swallowing their yo-yo, was Proetzeled. ln this
procedure water is poured into one nostril and the patient's cerebral
hemispheres carefully sucked out the other. While in Orthopedic clinic,
each man was furnished a buzz saw with which he could easily remove
a cast and a leg in one fell swoop.
For one month the patients were seen in Pediatrics clinic where
they occupied their time looking at reddened ear drums and sore bottoms.
In addition to outpatient clinics, two months of the fourth year
were spent with the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, directed
by Drs. Holmstrom and Hulme. On this service were the never-tofbe-
forgotten rounds- the only place we know of where men have been
known to shake with fear and laughter at the same time. Then there
were the four-week excursions to other hospitals for additional obstetric
training where our heroes learned that precipitation can mean worse
than rain and when it rains, it pours.
Toward the end of the fourth year, it appeared that most of the
patients were finally showing some improvement. There was, however,
considerable question in the minds of many staff men as to whether
this improvement was more apparent than real. Whether real or not,
they decided that the patients should be discharged-perhaps because
they were just tired of seeing them around. But whatever the reason
the patients were grateful and happy and though they may not follow
the doctors, orders to the letter, it is felt that the prognosisis probably
not as poor as it may have appeared at times during the past four years.
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