Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New conversation norms

I went to the "Revisit Night" for my medical school, where accepted students mingle while enjoying wine, beer and fantastic hors d'oeuvres.

Several hours into the evening, I was in a conversation with seven other students. I asked the nearest student what he did prior to medical school. His response silenced the circle of students: "I work on IBS research." IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and drums up visions of diarrhea, constipation, bloating or maybe all three simultaneously.

Now, the normal reaction to this bit of information is to crinkle your nose, perhaps say "Ewww", or maybe tell an anecdote of that one time your friend crapped his pants.

But we were almost medical students. No one's face scrunched up. Instead, I saw interest piqued on at least half their faces. One person across the circle asked, "Oh really? Are you researching causes or solutions?" And the conversation went into a grown-up, rational discussion of bowel movements.

I think I am going to enjoy medical school.

1 comment:

  1. Wait till you and your colleagues are talking about sputum, purulent drainage, occult bloody stools, massive GI bleeders and gangrenous feet at a formal dinner party...and you cant wait to hear more on the subjects! It is fascinating.