Werner Herzog (a German film maker who is particularly nutty in a deliciously entertaining sort of way), recently said “Academia is completely devoid of all human pathos…and should thus be avoided at all costs.” This made me chuckle heartily at the time because I could certainly think of more than a handful of academians in my med school experience and my surgical training to whom this so completely applies. (Still can.) They make learning unfun. But for every tight-assed bore out there, there are multiple more charismatic and personable academians. And I like to think that, in the medical world, we have the Charismatics in Academia to thank for cures to cancer, successful vaccinations, and among many other things, we hope, the training of good surgeons.
At least this is what I tell myself in the late hours of the night and the wee dark hours of the morning, when I am up reading and studying, twitching from a noxious combination of nearly lethal doses of caffeine and surgical trivia. This has been my plight for the last several weeks, all in preparation for the annual American board of surgery in-training exam. Every general surgery resident in the country (even those on their research hiatus like myself) has to take this exam. And it’s always the last Saturday of January. Which, just in case you’re too appropriately sleepy at this small hour of the morning to realize, is tomorrow.
So, permit me this pause in obnoxiousness just for today. Wish me luck. Think good surgical thoughts for me tomorrow morning between the hours of 8am and 1pm PST. And we shall return to the usual, and only slightly less caffeinated, shenanigans post-exam.