Column: Psychic friend helps predict future specialty in medicine

Over the past few months, regular readers of this column have broadened their knowledge-base on numerous vital issues, like genital discharge and prolonged pathological erections. Amidst the preponderance of "potty prose," however, one can occasionally find some insight into health and disease. Be that as it may, I regret to inform you that this shall be the last installment of "Prolapsed."

Like most of you, I, too, must move on with my life and, after three-plus years of medical school, the daunting task of choosing an area of medicine for which I will practice awaits me. Given the numerous "specialty" branches of medicine, one sees my predicament. From general internal medicine to surgery to gynecology, the possibilities are boundless. While peers have suggested that I consider a career in dermatology, still others have advised me on proctology. Although I certainly appreciate any input at this time, I rather doubt I could be satisfied in a practice full of rashes or asses.

How should I resolve this complex conundrum? Yesterday, I finally decided to turn to the one and only gurus of guidance, the Psychic Friends Network.

From the beginning of our conversation, my Psychic Friend foresaw I was destined for greatness. Delightedly, my mind raced through numerous scenarios of personal achievement. For instance, what if I were surgeon general? As the leading spokesperson in the United States on health and disease, I would speak frankly about HIV, STDs and condom usage. I would point out that there are an estimated 775,000 persons living with HIV in the United States, 223,000 of whom have AIDS. Similarly, I would also note that 12 million U.S. residents are infected with STDs each year. Following such strong assertions, I would reassure those that are sexually active by declaring condoms to be an effective mechanical barrier proven to decrease one's risk of acquiring the aforementioned diseases.

Perhaps more memorable than my "sexual resolution" would be my stance on cigarette smoking. In contrast to surgeon generals of the past, I would embrace smokers rather than denounce them. Indeed, since smoking is the leading cause of premature death, smokers have enough problems of their own. In fact, I might even change the warning on the side of cigarette packages to read something more supportive, such as "Surgeon General's Suggestions: Buy more insurance, emphysema boy."

As my mind continued to wonder, I realized I apparently misunderstood my Psychic Friend. Rather than 'greatness,' it seems I am actually destined for 'greekness.' In effect, I would be the personal physician to the Panhellenic Council. My office, or house, would be called Delta Omega Chi, or DOC. People would "join" my house not only because they would receive good care, but with each disease, they would receive a souvenir T-shirt. Such a garment might read: "Delta Omega Chi's Bloody Diarrhea '97: If it ain't muddy, it's gotta be bloody." Similarly, in the event someone were extremely ill, I'd put on my best suit and tie and serenade them until they were well (Incidentally, this therapy is particularly effective for alleviating constipation).

Geez, I really hope this is one of those few times that my Psychic Friend is wrong. But I guess if it's not, I could always go to law school.

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