Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Room Full Lawyers or Doctors?


Note: This post totally attempts to stereotype for effect. If I put "many, but not all" disclaimers after every other sentence, it would get pretty boring pretty fast.

A few weeks ago I attended a cocktail party & dinner with my dad, one where the the invitees were almost exclusively doctors who were affiliated with an area hospital. Wives and kiddos were invited too. I didn't really want to go, but since my mom could not, I wanted to accompany dad...and I thought it wouldn't hurt to have a nice dinner in a cute lil' country club, right?

Well, the food turned out to be pretty gross, because it was the typical bland and boring, super-conservative dinner food for meetings. I don't know why I thought it might be good this time. So I just kept refilling on the Pepsi. Two wives of a couple docs I sat close to were rather fun to speak with; one spoke with me about her daughter who has no idea what she's doing in life, and another kept cracking jokes about finding the right man. And that was as good as it got.

It was interesting to be surrounded by a sea of doctors for the first time after becoming a "professional/grown up" myself, and it made me think about a number of things.

...What I've Becommmme, Erase Myself
I suppose if they had problems in the future they would come to Lone Lawyer Island in the room: me. I was predictably introduced to most as a potential "medmal defense attorney", to which they instantly brightened up.
I am no longer smiley Indian girl.
I am possible future need at a potenitally discounted price.
Especially to the Indians and Pakis in the room.
It's all good though.

This Ain't a Song For the Broken Hearted
Physicians, I think, are nice guys and gals most of the time- until you catch them in their go-go-go competitive mode or try to prove 'em wrong in some way.
But it's not like attorneys are any different. Turned out that I was not the only one in the room - there were a couple attorneys there that worked with the hospital. One was a very prominent Richmond attorney that I'd been wanting to meet for a number of months. So I got my chance, and I must admit, I was a bit nervous. He was what I expected: ultra-confident, suave, handsome, articulate, kind, and had great social skills. I spoke with him about medmal and he gave me pretty good advice. I was shocked though by his disdain at the "ceiling" that medmal lawyers face. Let's put it this way: his idea of chump change is 120/hour. That does not make one a bad person at all, but it is amazing how a certain amount of money can become not enough pretty quickly to some people.
*cartoon from www.mattpercival.com/ :)
By the end of the night, I came up with a few conclusions about who I'd rather be stuck with on that metaphorical island:
-If you feel sick or hurt, docs are definitely the crowd to seek. A lawyer might make you feel sicker by analyzing your problem in a mechanical fashion, no feelings attached.
-If you are bored as hell, a roomful of lawyers should cure your symptoms. Many will start talking...and never, ever stop. Even if you give them a totally obvious "I'm not paying attention to you anymore" look - it encourages them not to stop...no...but to move on to a more adventurous topic in an attempt to impress. It's all about winning, fool.
-On the other hand, if you want to zone out and not pay attention to anyone around you, or even write a chapter of your great american novel for a couple hours, have dinner with the docs. Once the topic gets to something health/medical-related, hospital-related, or insurance-related, it will go on for two hours. You do not exist anymore. Accept it and let go.
-If you need to check out some hot business threads, attorneys have it down pretty well, especially the young and rich ones. Docs had to wear scrubs for so many years, and then moved onto the fully-covering white coats so they never really needed to care about clothes. You know that we all secretly envy them for that.
-If you want to have a more chill evening overall, hang with the doctaz. They are down with goofy jokes and are o.k. with overall nonsensicalness at the end of a long night.
-If you want to feel like a smartass, or not smart at all, get with the lawyaz. They want to top top top things as much as possible...a joke isn't just a joke. "One must formulate joke with the perfect choice of words and timing in order to elicit desired response from audience."
-If you desire to feel stressed, surround yourself with either or both extremely competitive doctors and lawyers. Just pick a topic you know they will disagree about - from politics to religion- to cartoon history to fim reviews, and your brains will be picked at by them until you are an empty shell and it's time to go home. They may even call you later to continue the argument for fun. Bonus.

You're Still the One I Run Tooooo
We all enjoy making fun of attorneys and physicians (even if we are one ourselves, or due to a series of unfortunate events, both!) but the truth is, the earthly entities that you eventually run to when in wordly trouble are these very beings. Many say they hate them. I hate it when one is clearly incompetent AND greedy. But I do admire the skilled ones for their hard work and intellect...I just have difficulty accepting the big fat egos that some develop after they have gotten to a certain point in their education or after accumulating a certain amount of benjis and/or benzis. Tons of other people could have been in their position, but may not have been destined with the luck and luxury of having the right set of circumstances to follow a similar path.

Who Really Wins?
Our cultures, especially Asian and Muslim culture, bestow 5 star value on doctors and lawyers (either that or they just HATE laywers, period. No in between!) I admire them for their dedication and expertise...and years of surviving a hellish schooling experience. But when it comes down to it, those that I admire the most are people who work to pay for their education, and still manage to smile. Entrepreneureal spirits who are brave enough to take a risk and have faith that something good just might happen. Artists in all fields and inventors who survive almost exclusively on talent, and not on the crutch of a degree. The guy who seems like some average kid, with a cheerful, positive and humble disposition and aims to make people feel good - even though he graduated from an Ivy grad school towards the top of his class, and is about to rake in 700K/year. The girl who empties big execs' trash cans but makes every last penny for her family's well being, and is ok with that.

It's definitely time for some of us to reassess who our true heroes should be.

xxoxoo

4 comments:

World Champ Stephen Neal said...

Well Nadya,

Did you come away with any prospects?

Nadia Hyder said...

LOLOLLLLLLLL

Ali said...

You need to go to a dinner where theres nothing but a room full of programmers! Then you will have fun!!!!

samia said...

i agree with you a hundred percent on the 'true heroes', those that face the adversity of this world with a smile on their face and a flex of their arm are truly inspirational. if you had been in a room full of teachers you would see many smily faces (and some smily stickers too!) but most of all, words like 'tummy''boo boo' and the always annoying cutsie voice would be heard in echos all over the room. so be grateful by friend that you only have one of me to deal with :)