Dateline: WHYNOT, NC—Surgeons are responding to the criticism that they’re vain and overpaid, by asking the critics to imagine what it’s like being elbow-deep in blood and guts.
“Most jobs involve manual labor or typing away on a computer,” said Lance Falcon, chief surgeon at Gory Hospital in Whynot, North Carolina. “Few have to face the horror of blood and guts on a daily basis like a surgeon. Even soldiers kill rarely and usually from a distance, as they look down the barrel of their gun.
“But a surgeon has to behold the appalling spectacles of pulsating human organs and gallons of blood, and to withstand the revolting stenches of the body’s interior which would make the average person vomit at first contact.
“How would you like to have your hands deep inside a disgusting pile of guts and to know that one wrong knick with the scalpel can kill the patient?”
According to Doctor Falcon, a heroic personality is needed to stomach a surgeon’s duties, which not only justifies the surgeon’s lavish pay, but explains his or her typical arrogance and smugness.
“Doctors are jerks,” said Milly Milton, a housewife who was rushed to the hospital in 2013 when she broke her arm in a horrific book-reading accident.
“The doctors that saw me were aloof and condescending. They all have perfect physiques and they’re handsome and brilliant to boot. And of course they’re rich, so it’s doubly sickening to have to go to the hospital. On the one hand, you’re injured, so you’re in pain. On the other, you’ve got to endure the presence of doctors with their off-putting God complexes.
“That’s why a hospital might as well be a haunted house in hell. It’s a nightmare knowing that the only way to heal your wound or to cure your illness is to go through this infuriating gatekeeper of health, this smart, handsome, rich guy who lords it over you, letting you know that if you’re lucky he’ll deign to give you a couple minutes of his precious time to fix your arm. The average male doctor is a model of human perfection, setting aside his personality disorder; it’s like he’s sucked up all the physical health, beauty, intelligence, and riches in the world and he begrudgingly returns a portion of health, at least, to his patients.”
Doctor Falcon was Miss Milton’s lead doctor.
“Milly may complain about my demeanor,” he said, “but how would you like to have this stranger come into your place or work, her arm all gross and mangled like she’s some slaughtered character in a horror movie? How would you like having to inspect that shattered arm, the bone shards peeking through the torn skin, the blood dripping all over the place?
“Would you be able to take those mutilated fragments of arm in your hands and join them back together good as new, without fainting or throwing up or collapsing in terror from such a proof that we’re all worm food in the end?”
Whereas critics like Miss Milton wonder why doctors can’t just treat the injury or illness “without being a dick about it,” Doctor Falcon maintains that doctors develop a pompous, disdainful personality like a thick skin or suit of armor, to withstand their “daily parade of blood and guts.”
However, the irony that modern healers tend to inadvertently abuse their patients with their galling egotism may be short-lived, according to economists.
“Computers and robots are coming for those white collar jobs, just as they’re taking over the blue-collar ones,” said Wallace Poindexter, pseudoscientist at the Bean Counter Institute in Anchorage, Alaska. “More and more diagnoses and even operations are handled by machines without the need of human intervention. As artificial intelligence is improved, robots will be able to perform even complex surgeries, making adjustments as complications arise.”
Of course, robots aren’t sickened by the prospect of being covered by a stranger’s blood and guts, and assuming that robotic surgeons can be programmed not to fear the existential implications of the human body’s fragility, they might one day replace human surgeons and save both patients and human doctors from their respective burdens.
Miss Milton, however, is skeptical. “Whose bedside manner would be worse, that of an arrogant prick of a male surgeon or of a cold and calculating, inhuman machine? I’ll have to ponder that one, because the answer is far from obvious.”
By U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Goodwin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons