After two weeks of consults,
Now I become an adult.
Casting my colt’s tooth,
In Wills1 I find truth…
Argyll Robertson pupil?
The validity I scruple.
Anisocoria I olfact;
Left pupil not react.
Social history of demi-monde,
Tulipomania, and a hot blonde!
Light, dark, equally round;
Scopolamine patch, there I found!
Swaff…the pager buzzed,
Half of my head fuzzed.
A kidsman calling from CHO,2
This consult I ought to go.
Covering the plottage of state,
Patient care we must advocate.
Forefighter, I am certainly not;
But EMTALA3 violation, I have fought.
- Wills Eye Manual, the equivalent of The Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook for Internal Medicine, but for Ophthalmology.
- CHO, Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma.
- EMTALA, The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.
The idea of this poem came from the author’s Residency Program Director’s (Dr. R. Michael Siatkowski) New Years gift to all of the residents at the Dean McGee Eye Institute – Jeff Kacirk’s Forgotten English: A daily Calendar of Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore for 2019. Each week, the author sent out a list of seven words along with their definitions to all of the residents. Residents write a poem or a paragraph using all seven words on a voluntary basis.
The following words were used in this poem:
1. Demi-monde: persons not recognised in society; prostitutes, courtesans.
2. Olfact: to smell
3. Tulipomania: a violent passion for the acquisition or cultivation of tulips
4. Plottage: the area of a plot of land; the deplorable union between plot and acreage
5. Kidsman: one who boards and lodges boys, training them to become thieves
6. Forefighter: A champion. This is almost the only word applicable to battles…which remained in the Anglo-Saxon language for any time after the Norman conquest.
7. Colt’s-tooth: literally, one of the first set of teeth in a colt. These are shed when the animal is about three years old. Hence, for a young man to “cast his colt’s tooth” means to get rid of youthful habits, or to sow his wild oats.
This poem represents a tongue-in-cheek expression of the author’s own experience as he worked through the first month of the ophthalmology consult service. He hopes the readers will find it entertaining to read.
Download a copy of Ophthalmology Consult – H. Douglas Jin, MD
Bio: Dr. H. Douglas Jin is an ophthalmology resident who graduated from the Dean McGee Eye Institute (University of Oklahoma) in June 2021. He is currently doing a two-year Vitreoretinal Surgery fellowship at the University of Iowa. Outside of work, Dr. Jin enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family and friends. His hobbies include swimming, gardening, playing chess, and photography.