22
Jun

A New Day in Clinic

Hey everyone,

Clinic was busy as usual today, but things are finally coming along. As our first week progresses, we are finally putting our heads together and  developing a more efficient system in clinic. Forms ready in this room, prescription pads placed here, surgical candidates and appointments set up with the clinic leader of the day. It’s crazy how far we’ve come in a few days: from complete pandemonium to a beautiful sense of order. And here we are now reaching our 60th patient! In the OR we completed a hemithyroidectomy, an orchiectomy, a urethral dilation, two prostatectomies, and an inguinal hernia repair + circumcision.

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On a side note, I witnessed a fascinating trend in clinic today: the power of the testicle. From infancy to the end of life, today I saw firsthand how much of a part in a man’s life. As I explained to a 70 year old man with metastatic prostate cancer that he may need a bilateral orchiectomy, he gave me a befuddled look and started speaking in Creole with the translator, both of them laughing. “Cut off my balls?” he said. “I love sex. I don’t want to be less of a man. That’s what they do to the pigs they breed here in Haiti, not the men!” he chuckled.  Later in clinic, we were discussing with a mother that her child with cryptorchidism may need a unilateral orchiectomy. “Will it make him half a man? Oh no, I don’t want him not to be a man,” said the hesitant mother. As I witnessed these conversations, common in urology and often discussed with jokes and laughter, I realized the power that such a hidden, protected part of the male anatomy plays on male psyche and well-being, from birth to death. Such stories show me how complex male sexuality can be and how little we understand it. With the extreme prevalence of prostate cancer, we have a great opportunity, both in urology and medicine in general, to study and further understand the intricacies of male sexuality, whether in suburban Atlanta or rural Haiti.

Ok, no more philosophy about testicles. Here is a picture of my favorite patient, hungry and vigilantly guarding his bowl of rice and beans. Look at that face: “Amir, I like you. But you better back off my rice and beans, you dubby!”

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Ok, time for night call.

Au revoir,

Amir

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Emory Medishare