Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tales from Residency: New Fellow

Man in scrubs: "Hi, I'm the pain fellow. My name's Josh."

Me: "Oh hi, I'm Fizzy, nice to meet you."

Man in scrubs: "I'm going to be helping out in clinic today."

Me: "Oh great!"

Two minutes later:

Me: "Guess what? One of the pain fellows is going to be helping out in clinic today."

Attending: "Oh, great! Which one?"

Me: "Oh. It was.... uh... hmm."

Attending: "Was it Steve?"

Me: "No, I don't think it was Steve...."

Attending: "Was it Jamie?"

Me: "Maybe...."

Attending: "Was it a black guy?"

Me: "Uh..."

Attending: "Was it a white guy?"

Me: "Uh... I don't remember."

Attending: "!!"

Me: "This is embarrassing. Please don't tell him I forgot his name."

[Pain fellow (who it turns out is Indian) walks into the room]

Attending: "Oh, hi Josh. We were trying to figure out who you were. Fizzy forgot your name."

Isn't it wonderful that I'm so "colorblind" that I couldn't even remember the race of a person I had just met two minutes ago? That or dangerously overtired. (Probably the latter.)


  1. Did he not have a classic Indian accent to help you out? :-) LOL love it! And why the name Josh? If it was an Indian fellow, you should have chosen an Indian name... Although that ruins the fun of realising he was actually Indian. Sometimes our names are so long and different (vs the Western names that is) that it either works in our favour and people remember our names or it just goes the complete opposite way and people don't bother fully listening to our name becauae they know they won't remember it anyway! (Not implying you did that or anything, juat musing...) I have 11 letters in my surname and while it doesn't sound like a mouthful when I say it like that, it's still my white friends' favourite game to play - let's guess how to pronounce/spell Sunrise's surname... Facepalm, much???!!! Not that I mind it much, I've had some HILARIOUS variations of my surname presented to me before. :-)

  2. Maybe both seriously overtired and "colorblind" - wish the former weren't such a huge problem, and haven't noticed a major difference yet with the current regs for on-call time and rest time (especially since senior residents don't get that much of a break, right?) But yeah, it's clearly good in its own way that you didn't pay much attention to the guy's skin color. I'll keep fantasizing that someday the whole world will be that way.

  3. Actually, you're not alone. There was a study 20-30 years ago where a white guy in a suit would ask someone to concentrate and memorize things in images. While they were focusing on it, the guy would excuse himself for a minute. Then a black guy, wearing the same suit and nametag, would come in, and act as if they were the same instructor who'd stepped out. A significant minority (20% if I remember correctly) never noticed the switch.