The medical students' guide to medical terminology
Medicine is a strange business. On the one hand, people are always emphasising the importance of communication. On the other, the terms that are used are so opaque and cloaked in euphemisms that it takes a good few years to actually understand what is being said to you. Knowing what people are really talking about can save you a whole heap of trouble.
This ostensibly polite question usually comes from a distinguished consultant who has 10 medical students circled around a patient's bed. The request is usually directed at the most scruffy student, slouching behind the others, who has been rooting about in his or her white coat pocket for some chewing gum, or whispering furtively to their neighbour. The immaculately clad swots smirk as the targeted student writhes and gawps like an ant in treacle. Tip: The question is a rhetorical one. Do not reply, “Cheers, mate, but actually, I'd rather not.”
Fashioned?? Can you think of a more inappropriate word? Was it the Paris fashion or the London one? Did Saint Laurent do it with a sash or did Galliano create it in silk? What's wrong with saying a colostomy was performed?
I know, I know. If they called them “cow” and “sheep” it would be easier for all concerned. And