The Doctors

Had a wonderful time taking part in a discussion with sixty-two (or so) second year medical students at the UND School of Medicine this morning. I was pretty much the only one in the room who didn’t have a medical degree or who isn’t working on one. Here’s why we were all there.

It’s called the Case Wrap-Up program. Each week, students study a different “case of the week.” (Sounds a little like a Lifetime movie, I know, but that’s what they do.) Then on Fridays, a medical specialist and a patient are invited in to talk.

Today’s discussion was led by Dr. Xenofon Papadopoulos who just happens to be my doctor. I call him Xeno the Greek. (Not to his face, of course.) As my urologist, he knows more about me below the waist than I know about myself.

The talk was on prostate cancer, which I’ve had, and which Dr. Papadopoulos treats. The students asked questions of him (and to a lesser extent, me) for a solid hour. I found both the questions and answers fascinating. That is to say, I found the questions and Dr. Papadopoulos’ answers fascinating, not mine.

I also found out a couple things about myself I hadn’t known. Most importantly, that I hadn’t had a PSA test for seven years before my diagnosis. I didn’t know that.

After the talk, Dr. Papadopoulos went back to work and into surgery. I went home and had a sandwich.

To me, the medical students seemed curious, kind, polite and smart as can be. Just what you’d want in a doctor. Now I want to be a doctor. No one else wants that, I know.