It’s the time of year that I give my annual lectures to the medical students. I have been giving the lectures for over 25 years and they are still fun for me. I try to flavor them with a few stories from my experience in medicine and also stories of medical history. The stories are usual meant to be humorous and to illustrate a point. For the most part, I think the students enjoy the lectures as indicated in their evaluations. I continue worrying that I am going to get into trouble with some of my remarks that push the envelope regarding political correctness. The Anglo- American male is now in the minority in the class so my opportunity for making some offensive remark is now wide open. I occasional make reference to something in the Bible, not in an attempt to convert anyone, but to illustrate a point. This is bound to offend some of the atheist and Muslims in the audience. Since I am retired and am not even compensated for my lectures, I don’t care much about political correctness anymore.
One of my favorite authors is a fellow named Ferrol Sams, a retired family physician in Georgia. He is a great storyteller. He has written several books and short stories. He started writing at age sixty and most of the stories are autobiographical and draw on his vast experience. I’m pretty sure Ferrol Sams would say something politically incorrect to the students but I’m also sure he wouldn’t care.
This may have been my last year to lecture and I still have a lot more stories to tell as well as a few facts about radiology. I would like to work in stories from my general practice days like the man who was trying to reassemble his family in bottles on a shelf at home. He had his wife’s gallstones, and her fibroid uterus in bottles nicely displayed on the shelf with his son’s tonsils. We were going to remove the wife’s cancerous breast and he wanted that in a bottle. That’s were I drew the line. He was satisfied with the cancerous breast mass rather than the entire breast. I have often wondered what happened to his path specimens which were becoming enough to start a med school.
There is also a great story I would like to tell about the young man who married a girl and moved in with her family. He managed to impregnate the wife, her sister as well as her mother. I delivered all these babies and to this day I have not figured out the proper relationship of these offspring. A kid could have someone who was his brother and uncle as well as a brother who was also his cousin. The surprising thing about this whole affair was that the people lived happily together. I believe they were the first rednecks.
Since my lecturing days are coming to a close and the memory of some of these great stories is becoming dim, they may just fade into the wind. Wish I had a little Ferrol Sams in me and I could record them while sitting on the porch, but even this might not work. Even if I had Ferrol Sams actually write my stories they would probably not be published. They are too boring for today’s reader and would be filled with politically incorrect statements. No publisher wants that kind of stuff. They are stories about ordinary people in the 40s, 50s and early 60s during the time of safe streets and schools. It was a Golden Age for many things including being a doctor. For now, I will just have to be content with reflecting on the porch and writing the stories to myself on the blog.