Advice from my Chief Resident

While there have been many memorable and edifying pieces of advice I have heard during these first weeks as a doctor – only one of them thus far has inspired me to write, and then tocarry out that desire to actual, real life, fruition. Sitting down for drinks with my fellow residents 2 and a half hours late and long after happy hour had passed one of my chiefs turns to look at me and states, while rubbing my back in sympathy ” Oh you’re still in your 20s. Learn how to masturbate. Trust me”

Now I’m unclear at this point whether a) she is making a commentary on my life currently or just looking into the crystal ball of intern year and-with the eye to preventative medicine a family physician always keeps in mind- is making an effort to stem the tide of foolishness sleep deprivation and California can bring. I mean, if not for the quickly following rant about the rampant stupidity present in those laden with testosterone, I could have been offended right? O she could have been interested in a more self-serving goal considering last year’s graduating class was three seniors down secondary to poor communication and left a bit more work for the other residents to do than they had been planning for.

However, I, obviously, was immediately interested in how one could possibly make it to their 20s without having learned to masturbate. I mean, mutual masturbation is one of my favorite things to talk to students about when I am teaching sexual education courses. Hello you cannot get pregnant, and you cannot get the HERP! The trick however, is the self discipline it takes to stay your side of the bed/couch/carseat. I am sad to say, given the population of women I am delivering here in Los Angeles, that most seem to have not yet mastered the aforementioned strategy. Perhaps my senior resident was merely trying to help me avoid the ever awkward conversation with my attending physicians of “can you prescribe me that pill, one more time, just like last month”. Preventative medicine right? maybe they say this in orientation to all the kids.

Which brings me to my point- The whole idea of preventative medicine is to give/teach someone something before they come into harms way. To train your children to play and eat well so they don’t develop type II Diabetes for example. Or in this case, to stomp around your house when your children are in their teens just as much for your girls’ sake as I plan to for my boys. It seems, that while it is culturally acceptable and well known that boys begin masturbation in elementary school- that we still feel the need to tell girls it is ok well past the age most of them have become sexually active…with other people.

And so along with hoping that flinstones chewables come out with a vitamin rich in progesterone I can give to the little ones- I am now debating diversifying my portfolio with stocks in duracell… to pay for that In-vitro fertilization I’ll be needing in a few more years. Girls if you’re in your 20s learning how to masturbate, you will be in your 30s, investing in a turkey baster…and a good Obstetrician.


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