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Stuff You Learn From Doctors, Episode 1

Photo by Emiliano Arano on

Doctors are smart people. Those whom I have met during my first two weeks at Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis have impressed me, yes, with their competency, but even more so with their passion and compassion.

I already have learned so much from these doctors. My education in things such as limb-lengthening procedures and Blount disease has just begun. But occasionally, I am finding out, it’s possible to pick up some non-medical fun factoids from these folks.

For example, did you know? Did you have any idea? That people native to Barbados generally do not know how to swim?

To be fair, I have not verified this fact. Oh, I could. I’m sure if I googled “Do people from Barbados know how to swim?” the interwebs wizards would return to me some version of “truth.” But I’m purposefully not looking. Why? Call it a return to simpler times, when everything was not instantly knowable. We trusted our doctors and our teachers and our grandparents to tell us the way things really were. Oddly enough, despite the inability to instantly confirm what we were told, we seemed to somehow get along better and be more united as a society. Hmm.

So when a doctor to whom I was talking about his medical mission trips (the story on which is hopefully to come in a few weeks to a month or so) dropped this bit of Barbados knowledge on me, I made the choice to simply enter it into my brain, along with the explanation that, despite being entirely surrounded by water, the locals see only trouble coming from the ocean. It’s not a place to play. Not a place to hang out.

I went home that night and texted four or five people I know to share the knowledge — and only this knowledge. Yes, my friends think I’m odd.

They happen to be right.

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