Monday, February 14, 2005

Lady Problems

As a third year med-student I filled with trepidation at the thoughtof interviewing a patient. What if the patient didn't like me? What ifI offended them or said something wrong. What if I touched them in an inappropriate manner, or at least, which they construe as such? All these thoughts crossed my mind and would often fill my stomach with butterflies.

Nearly four years later I am impressed with my progress. Now, the thought of meeting new patients doesn't scare me one bit. My approachis nearly identical at all times. First, I introduce myself, shake hands and smile before moving on to the standard questions. I've become somewhat automated, in a good way, and it is rare that I get thrown off my natural progression. There is but one patient that continues to plague my weakness and shake my composure from its baseline.

Interviewing a young woman still needs perfection. To be completely honest, and I know you expect nothing less of me, if she's especially attractive than all previous progress to this point goes to shit. Tongue gets tied and sentences get jumbled and mumbled and all shook up. I'm not sure if it's the boyhood anxieties that return, or the fear that haunted me in my younger days but something about the sight upsets the higher thought processes and sends my neurotransmitters into disarray. My smile ends up looking plastic, at least, I imagine it does and I look paler than my white coat.

The thoughts that race through my mind are revealing. "Maybe she's intimidated by me? Maybe I'm intimidated. Why am I intimidated? I'm the doctor damn it". "Maybe it's because I'm too good looking? Shut upMadman, you narcissistic idiot she's the attractive one here".

The physical exam becomes a torture of anxiety and all hell breaks loose in my head. "Touch there or don't? But I have to touch there, but will she think I have to touch there or not? Oh god. Need bag, h y p e r ve n t i l a t i n g, vision fading b l a c k..

After much introspection I think I've finally elucidated the etiology of my failure.

I'm too horny.