Scutmonkey Chronicles

Commentary on healthcare in general, life as a medical student, and issues of concern thereof. Readers warmly encouraged to contribute their "best" and "worst" experiences with the healthcare system (who knows, some budding young doctor might learn something from your pain...?) Submit via comments section, or email me at if you'd like to become a regular contributor. Welcome, and don't forget to double-glove!

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Ok, in case I haven't mentioned it, I picked a specialty--psychiatry. Have been on many, many residency interviews and think I know where I want to do my indentured servitude. Now all that remains is to see if my top choice wants me. Provided I don't change my mind in the next three weeks and screw everything up...

According to the explanations from the match people, over 90% of applicants get one of their top three picks. So I should be ok. As long there is a paycheck and dental insurance involved, I can make pretty much anything work.

As for the Smallville reference, I was watching because my go-to Thursday night show (My Name Is Earl) turned out to be a rerun. The Smallville episode was sort of a psychiatrist-to-be's nightmare: Clark is wrongly institutionalized by the Luthers. A very authentic looking psychiatrist tells him that he is actually a paranoid schizophrenic, and goes on to reference his belief in super powers, an alternate universe, and a conspiracy against him. (Didn't hurt that the guy they got to play this doctor is a dead ringer for one of my professors.)

So Clark goes through a whole hour of complications, such as his mother being brainwashed and married to Mr. Luther, a roommate at the hospital who thinks he is a superhero from Mars, and the threat of some sort of mind erasing treatment.

Needless to say, there were many glaring differences between the depiction of mental health care in this show and in reality. For one thing, Clark's room in the instituion was unrealistically big.

Seriously, I have no real worries about mistakenly 302-ing Superman. But it was scary...that is how it must actually seem to be psychotic.