Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Plastic people parts

Writing this at work. Sorry for the long absence, much has happened, as shall be revealed. By the by, my good friend Toby has had a computer upgrade and is now able to read my blog (a fact that alarms me considerably). He did so and complained that everyone else mentioned in the blog has been disguised with a stylish pseudonym, but that he was saddled with Toby. So from now on, he will be known as Algernon. Think tall, broadshouldered, raffish, strong jaw and soft brown eyes, an ability with language that makes the rest of us seem like Neanderthals.

For Benedict, by the way, dark eyes, glossy black hair, strong build and expressive face. Chad is more the movie star blue eyes, quick wit and frequent grin.

We did another intubation practical, using an armless legless plastic person and several separate plastic parts - including a life-sized pink "jaw with teeth and tongue" set, complete with disturbingly life-like tongue.

We do a lot of practice on plastic people parts, more in medical school than now, and I remember once trying to work out how much of a person you could make if you got all of these parts together, like some disturbed Frankenstein. I tried to limit myself to plastic people parts I had seen in my professional career, and I reckon I got pretty close to a whole, if oddly proportioned, human being.

The plastic jaw from the intubation prac could go under the giant (five times life-size) nose that Ear Nose and Throat used to teach us about nosebleeds, and although there is only one ear (a right, from what I can remember) there was a number of eyes, including one showing catacts and one with a retina you could peel off and look at.

Internal organs were also well represented - I was given a number of plastic hearts (by pharmaceutical representatives selling cholesterol modifying drugs), two sets of
kidneys (reps selling blood pressure meds), a pancreas (insulin) and a large, yellow wobbly block of plastic fat, which was given to me by the woman selling orlistat, the weight loss drug. I was meant to brandish this at potential customers, the whole lunchbox sized lump of it, yellow and veiny, to encourage them to lose weight.

Plastic sexual organs were also in plentiful supply - mainly from my time at Hogarth House, where we prescribed constraceptives, etc. to teenagers. There were plastic male and female "parts" to show how to insert/apply/wear the various devices, and a bunch of things called banana penises, which are life-sized and life-like plastic bananas, except that when you slip the skin off, a similarly life-sized and life-like penis is revealed, standing at a jaunty angle and coloured a cheerful pink.

"Just the thing to slip into the fruitbowl when the vicar comes to tea" said the woman who showed me, and laughed for a full fifteen minutes.

Anyway, I will spare you the horrors of the plastic prostates we were meant to examine and describe, and get back to actually seeing someone.

Thanks for listening,


Anonymous Camilla said...

Huzzah! You're back! :D

1:03 PM  
Blogger Benedict 16th said...

Thats funny reading your blog, and the body parts, my mind was cast back to the "dial a prostate" and 'lo and behold it obviously occured to you too! My favourite plastic bit was the obstetric tummy (at Florey) that you could practice Ventouses on and when you unscrewed it (pun intended) there was a liitle fetus next to the placenta which were both removable. It was obviously a very expensive model, but someone had drawn pubes in the appropriate places and despite attempts at removal permanently stained them.

word verification : xwscziw, sounds like the latest MSDGSKPfizerSP antispsychotic

10:14 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

I'm truly glad, grateful, and thankful to the universe that I did not go to medical school. All my potential patients, as well as all the plastic body parts are probably grateful too.

1:09 PM  

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