Sunday, July 22, 2007

From the Grand Canyon to the mean streets

Commenter Tom B was my Grand Canyon guru. He taught me the basics of hiking and foot care when facing a mile-high climb with minimal water, and yes, that background came in very useful during Friday's Wilderness Medicine Adventure Race. Fortunately we never had to make use of trauma management skills on any of our hikes together. He sends a link to this Grand Canyon Hikers thread with his response. The poem at the top is uncredited, but Tom's inimitable style shines through. ("Advice given here is not guaranteed. / Before you go a hikin' and wind up birdfeed....")

Finally, I nearly had a chance to put all this training to use just last night. It was a beautiful evening and Lady M and I were eating dinner outside at a downtown restaurant when a guy went past on a motorcycle. Once he was down the street, out of sight, we heard "screech" and then "crash." Lady M looked at me and mouthed "go!" and I ran over to the scene. On the way there I was wondering "will I need to start CPR? splint a leg? needle a chest?" As it turned out, the dude was already walking his bike to the curb, having sustained only minor ego lacerations and pride contusions. But it was nice to feel that if there had been a serious situation I might have been able to help. Eager to help, in fact. Maybe I have learned something in medical school after all.

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At July 22, 2007 at 12:04 PM , Blogger Grand Canyon Hiker said...

Ben, you are a refreshing look at the medical profession from what we are used to seeing for ourselves or having it depicted for us by television. I hope that years from now you are still a believer (i.e., in the profession, in your mission, and in your values). My bet is that you will be.

One of my closest childhood friends, with whom I'm still in contact, is now a plastic surgeon. A real one, however, not the 90210 types. Despite his success, he is still a family man with three kids, taking family vacations, being a faithful little league parent, and helping his fellow man whenever he can. His wife is a pediatrician, and they met during their undergraduate years. So, it can be done.

Anyway, I enjoyed your post about "The Best day in Medical School." In my ignorance, I didn't know they did such training in medical school. It was fun to read your account of it.

Keep up the good work!


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