Plastic surgeons and me just don’t mix

August 13, 2012

Obviously I havem’t had any ‘work’ done. I wouldn’t look like this if I had. And no one can make me three inches taller, so I’m not likely to either. But when Natalie  made me a sandwich and accidentally got a bit of anchovy on it, the immediate trout pout it produced was surprisingly attractive. Only lasted a couple of hours though, so I’d have to have a handy anchovy lip balm to keep re-applying.

Anyway, the combination of writing about my student days and watching the Olympics closing ceremony reminded me of an episode as a student in St Pancras Hospital. It is an episode of its time and thankfully I feel sure it wouldn’t happen now. But you never know.

I was doing Plastic Surgery for 2 months and the one of the Consultants I was “attached” to was the ultimate stereotype. He was suave, sophisticated, had  chiselled cheekbones and was dripping with money. He drove an incredibly flash car, waltzed in to the wards wafting expensive aftershave in his wake. He wore bespoke, understated Savile Row suits and was neat as a pin.

I, on the other hand was in a phase of wearing cornflower blue tights and a mish mash of brightly coloured things I had bought from a market stall off the Walworth Road or the army surplus store Laurence Corner. And the white coat on top. I would like to point out that my clothes were clean and didn’t have holes in or anything, but were fairly full on. The Consultant only appeared on the wards two mornings a week. Plus he had an operating list on another day. The rest of the time he was in Private Practice.
The nurses worshipped him. Or were afraid of him. I’m not sure which. A bit of both really. They thought he was marvellous, and were more than happy to have everything just the way he liked it. They didn’t think he’d like my dress sense. Those coloured tights. The purple skirt. The black and yellow top. The pearlised blue flat doll shoes.  There was no ‘uniform’ for medical students apart from being clean and tidy. I was both. But loud as well. Their concern  just fuelled the fact that I hated everything he stood for. Pompous twat. I was completely anti private practice at the time ( although happy to use it now in my mature and mellow state).

So I continued to wear what I pleased and the days passed uneventfully. He didn’t comment on my sartorial choices. Until I changed my style and went went in wearing mens trousers, a white  shirt, a tie and my white coat. Fairly sober in comparison to how I had been dressing if I’m honest.

The plastic surgeon went ballistic. Absolutely mental. Apparently I was completely unprofessional, would never make a doctor, and he did not appreciate my insubordination. What’s more I was breaking the rules. I was to get off his wards and never come back.

And what exactly was he outraged about?

The fact I was wearing trousers. No female medical student was going to get away with that whilst he was in charge.

I left the ward and never went back when he was there. But he couldn’t stem the tide of two-tone outfits and baggy trousers that took over my wardrobe. Madness had gotten under my skin and I loved them.

Loved em. Still do. And how great to see them in the closing ceremony. National Treasures now.


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