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How does it hang?

November 21, 2009

Medical students are part of the invisible meshwork of the hospital environment. Through no fault of our own, it’s often the case that we’re part of the furniture and don’t have much to offer in terms of usefulness. It is often difficult to ascertain who exactly is a medical student and what stage they are at in their training. White coats were abandoned just as I started my clinical rotations. I wasn’t too bothered by this, I didn’t like them. As a collective however, there was a little confusion over how to make themselves known.

The stethoscope is now one of the main weapons in trying to re-establish some sense of personal and collective identity. By the time you get to my stage of training the last thing you want is for people to recognise your role and supposed knowledge base, so seths are carefully hidden in one’s bag along with the ID card.  When you have just started your clinical rotations however, it’s a completely different matter. You want people to mistake you for a doctor.

Some of the new clinical students have taken to wearing their stethoscopes in the canteen, over lunch. I think it’s endearing.

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