It’s a boy!

Personal September 5th, 2009

“It’s a boy!” That was the simple answer that the lady in the room was looking for.

The group of us were shown a picture of a boy who was wrapped up in a towel and presumably had a wet towel on his forehead. He was lying on a bed and was holding on to a small, white bucket. The group was asked to make some observations on the picture. It was a sample of the Problem-Based Learning question that is asked at the Sydney Medical School.

The group was rather quiet, so I started by making some remarks on the blanket and the towel, and how “he” was probably feeling cold and possibly having a fever. Another guy from the group said that he could have been “regurgitating” – a rather bombastic word for “vomiting”. However, the lady seemed to be looking for more answers; so I gave the obvious.

“It’s a child”

“Yes!” She exclaimed. “It’s a boy!”, and she continued to narrate what the scenario could have been. This simple answer that she was looking for reminds me of how people, in general – including myself, perhaps, tend to look at things beyond too deeply. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but I was just thinking that sometimes we (or just I) get to caught up in “critical thinking” that we might just overlook the most obvious.

And if you have watched enough “House”, “E.R.” or “Gray’s Anatomy”, you’d probably know that that the paramedics begin by describing the patient to the tune of “6-year-old boy/male, found [somewhere] in [what state]” – and it’s important for the doctors to know how to treat the patient and what course of actions to make.

Back to the situation above, I probably think that no one wants to say something that they think may sound stupid. However, like I always tell my students, there’s no such things as a “stupid question”. So really, if you think that your question/statement/answer may sound stupid but if it helps you, you should just say it.

Another person may just benefit from it :-)



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