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A sporting chance

Settle down please, final meds. I am sure you are as relieved as I am to hear that this will be my final lecture as Dean. Today I  will pick the branch of medicine that you will do. Think of me as ‘The Sorting Hat’.

Well, we have to start somewhere, so how about you lot at the back. Yes, the ones making the noise. Let me see you; muscular, loud. Hang about in a group. Not a trace of self-doubt and you’ll have a go at anything. Rugby players? Of course you are. It’s obvious. Well, you’re going to be surgeons. Off you go.

That was easy. Any hurlers here? Camogie? Yes, hockey too. Ah, look at you. Fit, honest, work around the clock. You have mastered hundreds of different skill sets. You will be general practitioners, of course. Off to my office and sign up. There they go. Decent, honest boys and girls.

I would appreciate it if you don’t tell them yet that they won’t make any money at it for all their hard work and training. Amateur ethos, you know.

Yes, you with your hand in the air. No, I’m not ignoring you. Cricket, you say. Well, you sit around a lot of the time. Nobody knows what you’re talking about and the spectators are asleep. Anaesthetics is the job for you.

Oh dear, soccer you say. Let’s see you complain loudly at the slightest grievance. Nobody likes you. You’re boring. You go on far too long. You bang on about teamwork and pass the buck whenever you can. Psychiatrists, if I ever saw. My goodness, what a lot of you. Thank goodness they are gone.

You two — yes, the unhealthy-looking pale ones. Snooker?

You spend all day in a dark basement away from normal people, doing the same thing over and over again. You are obviously pathologists.

And you. You play darts, do you? You are a special case. You take one look at the board and instantaneously know what to do. You throw something at it. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. You will make a splendid dermatologist.

Quite a lot of you left.

You with the beard and the tattoos. Mixed martial arts, you say? You’re the best of the lot are you? We got a memo about you, now where is it? Ah yes, ‘a comparative newcomer. Pushy. They are making up the rules as they go along’. That’s it. Medical education.

Thank goodness he’s gone. There was no need for half that effing and blinding. Imagine that’s a specialty now. In my time we did it for a rest.

Now, there are still a lot of you to grade. You lot? Never made any team. A bit of this, bit of that. Nothing suited you. Yes.

Gaelic football. Physicians.

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