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25 October 2017


I would soooo recommend reading Dr. Carroll James' book series Tooth is Stranger than Fiction!! He is a dentist, and it's basically like a memoir and it's brilliant. Clever, funny and his story is pretty cool also. drcarrolljames.com for the info. Dentists are people too, LOL!!

Thanks for the suggestion, Ali. I'm actually quite fond of my dentist, and have been of most of my dentists. I think there's something different about their personalities--less of a "God complex," perhaps, in dentistry?

Have you read Abraham Vergese's memoir, My Own Country? It's about his work with HIV/AIDs patients in Tennessee back in the 80s. Although aspects of it are dated now, I really enjoyed it.

Thanks for that reminder too. I have had books by Verghese home but never got them read. I will look into "My Own Country" again.

Well I am baffled that you have fallen asleep while dentisting. Every muscle in my body tenses up during dentist visits. I have to do progressive relaxation after the appointment finishes.

Well, sadly, here's the secret: every time I go to the doctor it seems they're do something horrifying to my body (and horrifyingly invasive--and seemingly always in very private areas) that going to the dentist seems like a cakewalk in comparison.
Here's the other way my experiences break down. Doctor's office=no underwear. Dentist's office=underwear on. I am not very good at handling anything, but I have a much better shot at handling it when my underwear is on.

That said--I am sorry if you find the dentist stressful. I certainly wasn't making fun of people who need sedation dentistry--I just want sedation applied to any and all medical appointments! :)

Having medical students do your checkups and such is common. Sort of the physician's equivalent of having a secretary. (Most doctors with years of experience aren't going to lower themselves to the level of actually talking to a pissed off patient. They go to extraordinary lengths to avoid you--hiring nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, med students.) Fun fact! You can tell how experienced a doctor is by the length of their coat. If it's short, they're likely an intern or resident. Now, they're doctors, don't get me wrong--they passed the boards. If the coat is long (say, knee-length), probably attending physician.

Personally, I'd rather have a med student look me over. Let 'em get their get their experience. They report to the physician anyway, who looks over everything and listens to symptoms and such. They're not in the dark.

I've been considering a vasectomy, and the only one I've found who's willing to do it (because I don't have kids) is a surgeon who also trains would-be surgeons. He's in the room, too. But he offers a discount for those willing to let a newbie have a go at their nuts. Shit, why not. Gotta learn somehow.

And apparently, it's a local anesthetic, so I can actually sit up and watch them doing the operation. That's pretty cool.

I'm not all that opposed to a medical student looking me over. I've been on the receiving end of services from med students and residents--with varying degrees of success. Mainly because you don't have any choice (at least I was never given one--and I can think of at least one case, when I was getting stitches in a touchy area--when I think I would have preferred a full-fledged doctor, but I was not in charge enough of my own faculties to do any demanding--especially as I am not real demanding by nature). What is disturbing is thinking about a lot of people without insurance who only ever get to see med students, who can't really give them any treatment. The amount of that going on in the Pearson memoir was a bit disappointing. The provision of health care in this country (or lack thereof) is really starting to be whacked.

The vasectomy--well, I opened this conversation what with stating my preference to have my underwear on when consulting with any medical personnel--but I'll mainly not touch that subject. Other than to say good luck!! Although don't you think you might make someone doing the procedure a little nervous if you're WATCHING them? Seems like an area where you wouldn't want someone to suffer nerves while they're working on you.

I also find it interesting that you can't find more people to give you a vasectomy. Good lord. Seems like a lot of energy goes into trying to train people to use birth control, and here's a man trying to take care of it, and then they're making it difficult. I think that's messed up.

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