oregon adventures

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Patient Acting- OHSU

Yesterday I had the bad news case, which is the hardest case they have at the med school. Both for the students and for the actor. One student acts as the doctor and 4 students observe and one doctor grades them and they are first year medical students. The bad news case is where the student has to tell me that I have metastatic renal cancer and will die in six months. The first time I did this case, I was twirling a pencil wondering where I could find the emotions I would need when the student told me I had cancer and I snapped the pencil and said "what!". After that I've always broken a pencil when they first tell me. Students from past years remember me as the pencil guy. The grading doctor tells the students that they will have to do this scenario for real many times in their careers and it never gets easy. After the rollercoaster emotions of hearing that twelve times it was time to run.
Stopped at the Dunniway track at the bottom of the hill from the medical school and did 1 mile on the track and then took a path that led up to Terwilliger Blvd. which climbs up and up. In the picture, the road goes up the hill in the trees and continues up the next hill. It has a nice wide running path sidewalk all along it and on nice days it's full of runners. Nike sponsers weekly runs that start downtown and run up Terwilliger and back. Wednesday it was lightly raining, so only a few people besides me were running it. I went up about a mile and a half and turned around and came back down to the track and did one last mile for a total of 5.1 miles in 44:27 at an 8:43 pace which is good for a hill run.


  • Jeff! what on earth do you do for a living? the pencil break seems effective if it's believable every time, which i'm sure it is. glad you got a good run in, renal cancer can't be fun.

    By Blogger Neese, at 6:05 PM  

  • I'm in the Air National Guard fuul-time- the acting is a hobby. I got involved with the med school training a few years ago and really like it.

    By Blogger JeffM, at 8:36 PM  

  • That's tough stuff... hits close to home for me. Hearing it is tragic, but I can't imagine what it's like for anyone to have to deliver that kind of news. Coll that you are available to these guys to gain experience.
    Good run and nice you have so many trails available to you! Make it fun!

    By Blogger Deb, at 9:16 PM  

  • Thanks for the post on my blog! I love the pencil-snapping thing. That's awesome. Reminds me of that episode of Seinfeld when Kramer and his buddy go down to act out diseases for med students at the hospital and end up fighting over syphilis.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11:46 AM  

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