Monday, June 4, 2012

More afraid of you than you are of them

During my third year psychiatry clerkship, I had a bipolar patient who physically abused his wife. My classmate Maya had previously worked in domestic abuse situations and I decided to get her advice.

Me: “I’m not really sure how to approach this patient. He’s potentially violent.”

Maya: “Well, tell me more about him.”

Jake (class gunner): “The most important thing is to talk in a calm, quiet voice.”

Maya: “Excuse me, but what experience do you have with this?”

Jake: “I’ve done tons of hiking and I know all about how to approach dangerous animals like bears.”

Maya: “Bears?”

Jake: “I also trained people to deal with bears in the wilderness. I think a lot of the same principles apply.”

Maya: “People are not bears.”

Jake: “Actually, there are a lot of similarities.”

Maya: “You know what? You can talk to Fizzy because I know you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Jake: “Also, don’t climb a tree.”

(OK, he didn’t actually say that last part.)


  1. Bahahaha, I'm a pediatrics resident and I pretend all my patients are bear cubs and their parents are viciously protective mama bears. i.e. never get between a mama bear and its cub. Its worked well for me.

  2. Do you try to puff yourself up like a monster and make loud, startling noises to scare off abusive partners?

  3. Did you ask him if he has a rumbly in his tumbly then hand him a pot of honey?

  4. I've been reading some of your stuff, and great Blog!
    I'm an undergrad too, trying to make it. I just started my blog as well...any advice? Also where's a link so I can follow your updates?!/GirlHippocratic