Every field has its stories depicting the contrasting subcultures within the field. Among MD's this means surgeons vs internists vs pathologists vs psychiatrists. "We heal with steel!" "When in doubt, cut it out!", "Surgery is the ideal therapy: it separates the disease from the patient.", and "Never let the skin come between you and the diagnosis!" are just a few of the slogans that give a taste of the essence of surg culture. The surgeons like to parody the more medically oriented folks (like yours truly) by stroking imaginary beards and declaiming "Hmmmm, perhaps we should raise the calcium. Or maybe lower the magnesium. On the other hand, it could be that a trial of corticosteroids would be warranted. I think I'll go back to my lab, read a few more articles and think about this some more." etc. Anyway, you've all heard the generic jokes about " N X's, an X1, an X2,..., and an XN all go together to perform activity Y" My favortie of these for docs is "The hospital duck hunt" story. To wit: The staff of St. Elsewhere (an old medical euphemism for some unspecified hospital not as good as yours) go for a duck shoot with the departments of medicine, surgery, pathology and psychiatry all in differents boats in different parts of the marsh. In the early morning calm, a rustle of wings suddenly erupts near the medicine boats. "A sonological pattern consistent with the aerial movement of ducks!" shouts the chief resident. "But wait, replies the attending physician. Ducks may very well occupy the top of the differential diagnosis but this pattern is by no means pathognomonic. One must also keep in mind geese, swans, herons, egrets, radio controlled model aircraft with engine difficulty, digital dolby recordings of actual water fowl flight, not to mention..." Well of course the ducks are long past by this point and heading over the psychiatrist's boats. They, however, are to engrossed in their own discussions to notice. "What do you suppose one should make of this highly suspect activity whereby a largely male group competing for intra-group dominance ventures into the extremely womblike marsh brandishing long, incredibly phallic weaponry and transferring their own feelings of impotent rage into a symbolic penetration of the elusive, feminine flight motif..." The ducks pass, amused but unharmed. It it their misfortune then to pass nearby the surgery staff who at the first flutter of sound grab their rifles and fill the air with lead shot and smoke, removing everything down to the last dragonfly from the dawning, rose-colored sky. "Hey, fellas!", the chief of surgery shouts over to the pathologist's boats. "Go see if those things were ducks, will ya!?"
(From the "Rest" of RHF)