By: Ann Brown
So I was watching TV last night and one of those “Train To Be A Certified Medical Assistant” commercials came on. A nice-looking young girl – a graduate of the program and now an official CMA – happily told us all about her experience. (A little bit too happily, if you ask me. I mean, she practically thrilled to orgasm just describing the otoscope lecture. I don’t know if I want someone that deliriously happy looking into my ears or giving me a shot or something. I like my medical professionals to be serious. Maybe sad. Despairing, even. I want them to understand – as I do – that I could die at any time.)
But I have a more pressing concern about that girl on the commercial. She kept saying, “If I can do it, you can do it!” She must have said it, like, seven times at least. Come to think of it, everyone in that commercial – from her lab-coated instructors to the soft-spoken avuncular man in the placement office – exclaimed, “if SHE can do it, you can do it!” And they looked as if they really, really meant it. They looked straight into the camera and over enunciated the word “SHE” as if it were code for “oh my fucking God, she is so fucking stooooopid. I mean, we have graduated non-English speakers, and people with no heads. Three actual ground squirrels scored higher than this girl did on the entrance exam, and they would have graduated, too, but their federal grant ran out. So, believe us – BELIEVE us – if we got this dipshit a job in a doctor’s office, we can get you a gig.”
Now, this definitely worries me. What is it about the girl that caused everyone – including her own overly happy self – to doubt her ability to learn this job? Why did no one believe she was up to the task? Did they just go ahead and matriculate her because she’d been in the nine-month program for, I don’t know, eleven years and still couldn’t pass the quizzes? Did she sleep her way to graduation???? With that guy in the placement office? Does she even know anything about being a medical assistant?
I demand answers. I want to know about the person who is telling me to take off my clothes. I spent enough time in the 70’s getting naked with strangers; these days mama don’t give it up so easily.
You see, I have my annual derm appointment next week, the yearly Mole Patrol. For those of you unfamiliar with this rite of passage, it consists of stripping down – completely – and astral projecting yourself to a beach in Hawaii while your dermatologist studies every inch of you with a magnifying glass. EVERY inch. And sometimes, it consists of the dermatologist going back to certain areas (usually your most repulsive areas) with a klieg light and a handful of med students who stare and “hmmm” and “hunh” and wink and high-five each other when I’m not looking and take pictures of me – naked, squinting into the lights – with their phones to send to prisoners who pin the pictures of fat, naked me and my questionable moles to the walls of their cells for when they are feeling down and need a pick-me-up laugh. (To be fair, I have no evidence of this but I swear I heard muffled giggling and laugh snorts from the back of the exam room last year).
What if I get that girl from the commercial as my certified medical assistant? What if the doctor dictates to her which of my moles are to be watched and which ones need to come out ASAP, and instead of writing it down, she just doodles her boyfriend’s name on the paper? What if the doctor asks for a sterilized scalpel, and she hands him her funky, rusted nail file instead? And what if she had just slipped into a supply closet to give one of the med students a hand job or something and didn’t wash her hands before she came back in??? She looked pretty skanky in the commercial.
You know, now that I think about it, I’m going to request the squirrels. They scored higher and I bet they will be much less judgmental of my body, as well.