Thursday, February 01, 2007

Very Young

I work in a teaching hospital, so I am used to how young medical students, psych interns, and student nurses look. There is quite a bit of variation, of course. The student nurses are a group who are clearly concerned with looking sophisticated, which keeps them off the ridiculously young-looking end of the scale, but some 25 year-old medical students can look much younger. They are drawn from that subset of focused students who actually went to college to study, not impress their peers, which keeps a certain naivete in their countenance.

People make their share of Doogie Howser jokes, and lots of older people have discomfort with having a doctor so young asking them personal questions. It’s never bothered me much, neither here nor at my own doctor’s where I get an ARNP as often as not. Also, though my daughter-in-law’s age froze in appearance at 14 for about 6 years before resuming its normal course, she has always shown remarkable self-possession. Her courtship with my son only had that disquietingly Appalachian look at a distance or in photographs. She didn’t seem that young in conversation.

So I’m used to this. Really. I am used to medical students or second-year interns, male and female, looking 16.

But 10 years old is pushing it. The new med student looks like she’s going to come back in her jammies and ask me to read her a story. Her voice sounds like that, too. I can’t decide if I’m in a science fiction movie or a sitcom.

3 comments:

bs king said...

Haha, working in the ER I would occassionally get called in to consult with some of the older folk about how young residents looked. They always figured if I thought they looked young, they were justified in feeling odd about them. Also, if I, as the young secretary, could make them cry, we pretty much knew they'd never make it through residency. I went two for two on that one.

dilys said...

"that disquietingly Appalachian look" HA!

It's not the "looking young" so much as the disquieting ways. Yesterday at a high-end car dealer, the "Customer Service Supervisor" who drove me to the car rental office had no idea where the office was, asked me if I knew, cell-phoned her boyfriend to find out, got the wrong information from him, performed several hair-raising U-turns in traffic, and got me to work 45 minutes late. On top of that, she complained steadily of "old folks' driving, bless 'em." I'd like to have made her cry, but was myself too close to sobbing.

If service-alert Lexus is suffering like this, I hate to think about being in a hospital where I can't keep an eye on what's being done to my other vehicle.

cold pizza said...

Pick science fiction movie--you get better toys to play with. -cp