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You'll never walk alone - medical student/intercalator musings...

Written by Chantal Cox-George · Friday 22nd February 2013

I'm not sure why I like to quote lines from films on this blog. I mean, I really haven't seen enough of them to make myself out to be some sort of hotshot film geek. I'm hoping this is the last (probably inappropriate) quote I use for a while, so here goes... 'Give me a word, any word, and I show you that the root of that word is Greek.' Courtesy of Gus Portokalos, the funniest character in the My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Sometimes I feel like medics tend to do that, we have a habit of making absolutely any conversation about Medicine. It seems to give us a bit of a bad rep, but surely it's understandable? I mean, it's what we do. It's what we've 'always wanted to do' i.e. since leaving the womb*. It's what we're always going to do. Right?

Even so, it's surely human nature to relate everyday conversation to something you think that you know a lot about. Let's take a look at real-life example, cue the Blue Peter quip 'here's one I made earlier':

I know nothing about football. Well, I know a bit more than some and a lot less than your average football fan so I guess I know VERY little about football. I do, however, know a thing or two about Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield. Why, you ask? Well, the Hillsborough Disaster in 1985 saw the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans during an FA cup semi-final. A pivotal case emerged from this disaster which affected medical decision-making at the end of life, that of Anthony Bland. Bland was left brain damaged and in a 'persistent vegetative state' (a disorder of consciousness) after the disaster. In 1993, he finally won his battle to have the treatment that was keeping him alive withdrawn. This was a landmark case in both medical ethics and law. Don't say you heard it hear first, look it up: it's relevant.

It would be dishonest to say, 'Give me a word, any word, and I'll show you that it's somehow linked to Medicine. But just ask me what I know about football, just once and I might just surprise you.

*After writing this entry, I realised that it might be unfair to presume that there isn't at least one person who knew that they wanted to be a doctor just seconds after taking their first gasp of air and crying their eyes out in the midwife's arms. My sincere apologies if this applies to you.

(To have a look at more of my entries, visit: