Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, May 25

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Naz / May 6, 2003 11:58 AM

I loved Doogie Howser as a kid. I suppose if the person was competent and proven and had the experience then it doesn't matter. It's like saying would you mind if your surgeon was 96 years old and had arthritis. I think it comes down to have the experience and a proven and good track record. If I was the first person to be operated on, I may change this opinion.

tasha. / May 6, 2003 1:36 PM

I agree that track record and competency really play a large part. But I think my main concern wouldn't necessarily be their medical skills, but their performance under pressure and their ability to deal with all the emotional struggles that go into being a surgeon. Most 16-year-olds are fairly immature compared to your average 30-year-old, I would have to say. So I don't think that being a skilled genious I.Q. surgeon at 16 necessarily means that you'd be able to deal with the profession on an emotional level. I imagine there's a hell of a lot of gut instincts, emotions and critical thinking decisions that go on in that field. I'm just not sure I'd feel comfortable being operated on by someone of that relative naive emotional age, even if I knew they had hands of gold.

Leigh Hanlon / May 6, 2003 4:24 PM

I've fired several thiry- and fortysomething internists who've had the emotional maturity of a junior-high student and the examination-room manner of a hurried stock broker.

Competency, not age, is the relevant factor for me. If a 16-year-old surgeon could do the job, I'd say go for it.

rebecca / May 6, 2003 8:44 PM

Don't they have surgery video games yet? I'm pretty sure my six-year-old neighbor is a nurse.

Naz / May 6, 2003 9:01 PM

But Rebecca, they have Operation! That's all you really need you know.

miss ellen / May 7, 2003 8:52 AM

Age doesn't bother me too much, but knowledge is important in this type of field. If I felt comfortable with this little doctor, that would be enough for me.

And Naz, Operation - good memories there!

Aaron / May 7, 2003 12:38 PM

In this particular case, Sho is in an MD/PhD program. Doctors with MD/PhDs typically have careers in research, not surgery.

Because of the program, Sho won't start dealing with patients in clinical situations until he's 18 (as opposed to 23 for typical med students), so the age issue won't be so noticable. Sho had to pass many psychological evaluations before being accepted, so the Pritzker administrators think he can handle the stress that goes with the work.

I say more power to him. What a fantastic kid.

(See the Chicago Maroon article:

lacey / May 7, 2003 12:40 PM

Ooh, good call with "Operation!" That really is all you need to know. I mean, touch the wrong organ and BZZZAAATT!! An infant could do it. Sign me up for surgery!

Leigh Hanlon / May 7, 2003 12:43 PM

By the way, speaking of "Doogie Howser," I never believed that episode in which he turned down the chance for sex with whatserface.

Alex / May 7, 2003 1:26 PM

Her name was Wanda Flem.


I think I have to turn in my "cool" card now...

miss ellen / May 7, 2003 4:58 PM

Oh, I used to love Wanda!

Anyone notice her popping up recently in "Dockers" ads? Such is life...

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