Now He’s Really Square

Last Monday Brian graduated from medical school, and “officially” recieved his Ph.D. hood, as well.


Seven years of graduate school, FINALLY OVER!

On to five more years of training!

The graduation ceremony went off with only a few hitches. My camera was pretty lousy at taking photos from the back of the Carnegie Music Hall, so this is the only one of the ceremony that turned out. He’s just recieved his medical hood, which is forest green. The deans were all clad in green as well, making them look like a bunch of leprechauns.

The only other hitch was that William threw up all over his grandfather ten minutes before the ceremony was about to start. I’m not talking about a spit-up — that I can handle — but a full-scale gastro-instestinal assault. Brian’s dad, who fathered six children, took it all in stride.

In fact, he was even good enough to take this picture of us in the lobby afterwards. Jeffrey opted to attend preschool that morning instead of coming to the ceremony (smart kid; it would have been painful for him), in case you’re wondering.  Note the double-hood action on Brian’s shoulders!!

So, Brian is now Dr. Brian, M.D./Ph.D. A Doctor-Doctor, or as I call it, a Doctor Squared. Har har har. Nerd Jokes: can they be any funnier?

The medical school is big on the whole pomp-and-circumstance thing. (Except that they didn’t actually play “Pomp and Circumstance” during the graduation ceremony.) Graduation is a whole-weekend affair. It starts with a big barbeque on Saturday (ribs! ribs! ribs! And we got to take home a gigantic caramel-apple pie!) followed up by Scope & Scalpel in the evenings.

“Scope & Scalpel” is a comedy show put on by the graduating medical school class, making fun of the whole gruelling four-year training process. It’s been a Pitt tradition since the ’50s, and as far as I know, it’s something that is unique to this school. It’s quite the lavish affair, considering that it’s put together by fourth-year medical students, who are pretty busy people.

There are costumes, elaborate dance numbers, and a full orchestra. People collect the posters. And there’s lots of bathroom humor. The shows’ titles usually involve horrible puns — this year’s show was called “The Full Montefiore.” “Montefiore” is the name of one of the hospitals in town. Past shows have titles like “Back to the Suture,” “Thoracic Park,” “Apolyps 13,” and “Crouching Patient, Hidden Finger.”

To tell the truth, most of the jokes fell kinda flat, or were in-jokes that neither I nor Brian got (such as a love song written to Tony Danza). But there was one short film shown that pretty much stole the show. Here it is. . . um, I’ll just say that it’s probably rated PG-13. It’s full of all the thoughts medical students have during their third year of med school, but do not say out loud.

I laughed so hard I cried.  Sobbed.  It was that funny.

For those of you who do watch it, here’s a bit of vocabulary to help you along:

  • WPIC: Western Psychiatric hospital
  • Fecolalia: talking about feces all the time (we think?  Brian’s already packed the medical dictionary, so we couldn’t look this up)
  • Neologism: nonsense word or word used incorrectly; sign of schizophrenia
  • Celiac: the first major artery that branches off the aorta after it passes through the diaphragm
  • Rounding: walking “round” the hospital, waking up patients and asking them about their stools.  Repeat this an infinite amount of times, and you have an internal medicine rotation (aka “medicine rotation”).
  • Differential: list of possible diagnoses that you come up with after examining a patient
  • Retracting: tedious process of holding back skin/fat during surgery; usually the med student’s job
  • Magee: the women’s hospital in Pittsburgh; med students do their OB/GYN rotations there.  This section of the video was filmed at the Magee ballpark in Greenfield.
  • “Next time I think I’ll put a cover on my shoe”: Childbirth is messy.  Some OBs wear face shields.
  • Peds: pediatrics
  • H&P: history and physical
  • “Circle of Bruce” : referring to the Circle of Willis, the circle of arteries inside your brain.

One thought on “Now He’s Really Square

  1. Our BIGGEST congratulations to Brian on his Doctor Doctor accomplishments! Let us know where you are in Utah and we will hope to see you on our visits north.

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