Thursday, June 8, 2017

Doctors Doing What Most of Them DON'T Do Best

Image result for musician doctors
None of us wore scrubs or lab coats. Our tackiness does at least have limits.

Tonight I participated in a "Doctors in Concert"  benefit event.  It twisted a few noses out of joint that I, as a pre-MD, was invited to participate, as I'm somewhat obviously not the only musician in an entire medical school full of high achievers, many of whom are of the ethnicity to have been raised by bona fide tiger mothers.  For all I know, some of my peers here may possess far greater musical prowess than I.  I didn't invite myself into the lineup, however. That would have been done by the dean and by the director of the program in which I will study if I come back after next year.  Both of them wanted to give me greater exposure to the members of the committee who will rank applicants for matches. It's not as though playing piano or violin makes me a superior candidate, and it certainly does nothing to increase my aptitude as a potential surgeon. The idea, I was told, is that playing in this event puts me in front of the people who will decide my fate, should I choose to accept that fate if offered to me, in a very positive light. Furthermore, it causes me to appear more well-rounded (except that I haven't yet regained all of the weight I dropped when I was sick; I still have a figure resembling that of Olive Oyl, other than my feet, which are tiny, unlike those yachts at the base of Olive Oyl's ankles).

There was one legitimate reason for me to have participated in the soiree, which was that both piano accompanists were on call tonight. One or both of them could have been called in on emergencies. Both had practiced with those they were to accompany, but neither one is a stellar sight-reader. Accompanying a soloist for whom the other accompsnist had prepared would have been a stretch for either of them. Sight-reading is one of my strengths as a pianist. As it turned out, I was called into service as an accompanist on the final performance. A cellist was to play a movement from a Bach cello sonata. The accompaniment was not even challenging enough to cause me to break a sweat.

For my violin solo, I played an excerpt from Les Miserables  on a violin someone dragged out of storage. The strings must have been two years old, but I didn't want to put new strings on the violin, because new strings stretch and sometimes take a little while before they hold their tuning, particularly if they're Thomastik Dominant strings. I was OK with whatever happened as long as I didn't look like a fool or a rank amateur, and I didn't, apparently, though I didn't hear anyone suggest that I should contemplate quitting my day job, either. 

The emcee  made a bigger deal of my age than was necessary. ("If she looks young to you [The braces didn't do much for adding maturity to my overall appearance, nor did the sunburn that I got from water skiing and jet skiing on Monday without benefit of sunblock; a sunburn doesn't inherently cause a person to look younger. It's just that spending a day out on the water without benefit of sunblock and getting totally baked in the process the night before a concert performance is the sort of thing a young person would do.], it's because at twenty-two she IS young. She will earn her M.D. next year at the age of twenty-three, which is younger than the average age of a first-year medical student.") If you remember the mean, median, and mode stuff from fifth and sixth-grade math, twenty-three [or maybe twenty-four]  is probably the mode age, or the single age that occurs most frequently, among first-year students at most medical schools. It's just that several slightly older and a few much older students skew the statistics. The point of the whole affair was to raise money, and the emcee probably hoped the benefactors might be impressed enough by my relative youth to contribute a few extra dollars beyond the price of admission.

Tomorrow I need to make contact with a few patients, but I'm otherwise free. I've mailed the important stuff home already.   Jeff, the doctor who owns the place where I'm staying, told me to throw my last few days' clothing and toiletries in a box he gave me.  He'll have his office staff  express mail it to me next week.      

I have a date tomorrow (technically today by now) night.  I'm going home on Friday, though I still do not have my flight itinerary. I'm not stressing out over it.  I will get home when I get home. (That's either redundant or exceedingly obvious.)

And, in conclusion, as they say in the wee hours out here in the English-speaking portion of The Great White North, good night.

   I do not own this video. I sincerely hope that the
person who does own it will graciously allow it to
remain here at least briefly for my readers' enjoyment.
It's my favorite video of a musical performance by doctors
except that, in this case, the "doctors" are not actual
doctors but, rather, men who portray doctors on TV.


  1. I didn't learn about mean, mode, or median until I was an 18 year old college freshman!

    1. I'm not sure how important it is for older elementary students to know that, and they consistently confuse the terms, but it's been part of the curriculum since I was in elementary school. I can't say that it greatly enriched my youth to know the terms.

  2. Check out the Australian Doctors Orchestra on YouTube. Performing for more than twenty years.i have several friends who are regular performers I am merely a consumer of music having not been passed down the music gene

    I was 23 at the commencement of my intern year and most of my cohort were 23 or 24 with the babies being 22. Different system, different times but beginning our 6 years course at 16 was not unusual.

    1. My cousin's great-grandfather entered medical school at the age of 17 in the u.S. in maybe the 1930's pr 1940's. Back then, an undergraduate degree was supposedly neither required nor customary prior to medical school.

      The Australian Doctors' Orchestra is quite impressive.