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The Benefits of Ignorance
February 20, 2006
I went to the doctor the other day. I was shocked to find out that I have a rare genetic disorder that is going to require immediate attention. Apparently my duoduwhatzit is inflamed and is putting undue and unhealthy pressure on my intestinor majorus and my cardialitozalingdon. Thankfully humans can live fairly comfortably without the duoduwhatzit, so the doctor is suggesting that I have it removed immediately. He tells me that he is one of the foremost duoduwhatzit experts in this part of the world and that he would be glad to conduct the surgery for me.
I guess I’ll go ahead with the surgery. The surgeon sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. He certainly seemed to be familiar with my symptoms and his suggested remedy made perfect sense. He used small, simple words to explain the importance and functionality of the duoduwhatzit and to describe exactly how the procedure would take place. He made me understand just what’s at stake here. He seems like a nice guy and exudes confidence. Perhaps the greatest testament to his skill was his clinic. It was big and filled with fancy new equipment. The halls were packed full of people - there must have been forty or fifty staff members milling about and hundreds, perhaps even thousands of patients. I’m sure this is a testament to his great ability.
I did notice one peculiar thing about his office. Where most doctors have walls emblazoned with degrees and certifications, this doctor’s walls were quite bare. There was a large, color picture of him standing in the reception area with his staff and they all seemed very pleased. There was a small letter of congratulation from someone whose name escapes me, but I assume he is a high-ranking doctor who took the opportunity to commend this man’s practice. But that was it. I noticed as well that most of the people in the picture, obviously staff members who are involved in this man’s practice, were also young. There was hardly a grey-haired doctor to be found among them.
I asked the doctor about the bare walls and young faces. This is what he said:
Most of us are young—really young. Sure—there is a Caleb or two among us. However, the average age of this staff has to be in our late 20’s or early 30’s. Why is that? I believe it is because younger generations tend to believe in the power of medicine—we believe that if it is medically possible, that we can do it…well…then we can do it. Do not let the fact that you are young ever distract you from doing what your heart has called you to do! EVER!
I remember being 28 when we started this practice and people telling me that I was too young and that I lacked experience…as I look back I think that me lacking experience was a good thing because it forced me to rely on common sense rather than textbook procedure and principals.
Speaking of textbook…not many of us have been trained “medically.” In fact, I believe there is only one medical school graduate on staff. I remember talking to many of you about joining our staff and you making the comment, “But I don’t have a medical degree,” and then watching your face as I replied, “neither do I!”
Sure, there are people that may criticize that aspect of our clinic; however, when I look at the description given about some of my medical heroes…they are refered to as “unschooled, ordinary men.” I believe the medical establishment is looking for a few more of those—people who allow fate to lead and teach them common sense. Don’t get me wrong…I am not cracking on medical school…it’s just that it isn’t a mandate…and we have seen fruit without it.
I thought his words made great sense. He’s right! What use is a medical degree anyways? Let’s suppose that he had spent six or eight or ten years in college and medical school. What good would that do? He would have then had to spend several years unlearning all that head knowledge so he could learn to practically apply common sense medical procedures. I would far rather have a doctor rely on common sense then on what some “expert” wrote tens or hundreds of years ago. Seriously, textbook procedures and principals are so overrated.
One thing still bothers me just a little bit. I can’t help but wonder if it would be such a hardship to endure a few year’s preparation for as important a career as a medical doctor and surgeon. After all, if the job is that important, wouldn’t it be worth a person’s time to ensure that he is properly prepared? Wouldn’t his love for his chosen career compel him to desire training from others more advanced in the field? So many questions. Anyways, I don’t have time to think about it right now. My duoduwhatzit is throbbing and I’m going to go and have it removed. For some reason my life insurance policy will not cover this procedure. But that’s okay. I’m sure that I and my duoduwhatzit are in good hands.
By the way, before I head over to his clinic I thought I’d leave you with a link. This is an interesting open letter written by a pastor to the staff members at his church. It may ring a bell.