Monday, 28 January 2013

What is PC for midget?


A pretty snowy week, as I am sure everyone else noticed, but it sadly messed up my week of rotations. I usually cycle to the close events, so I made some clinical placements (where I managed to accidentally insult a 'little person' - read on...). I did miss the placement I was most looking forward to this week, though, which was a 'forensic psychiatry' placement. It was run at a secure psychiatric hospital for criminals with psychiatric conditions. Sadly, it is a long way away from my medical school and house, and I couldn't drive there because of the snow. I was really looking forward to this placement, as I had been there one before in my third year. It was set in the grounds of an old asylum (very creepy and deserted looking) and the patients had been very interesting, so it would have been very interesting, and I could have got some cool looking pictures!

As I am in a bit of a rush (work, play, constantly late submitting my blog) I will just briefly talk about things. As usual! The 'little person' incident was the most embarrassing, and hence probably the most worthwhile talking about. I was helping out in a scheme for adults with learning difficulties, mental health issues, and such like, where they met several times a week to do things like art and cookery courses. This isn't very medical, but I was working with a social worker and it was a lot of fun, making paintings and collages and so on. I was working with a small group of people, making a collage to take back to my flat, while chatting to them about their problems. Very informal, but I think the main reason for this scheme is social. I was talking to a person with abnormal growth, meaning he was less than 4 foot high; he was telling me how he got a lot of insults because of his height, and I was asking him what the correct term was for a shorter person. [He told me he calls other shorter people midgets, but didn't think that was PC for me to use, so I should say 'little person' (which I think sounds a little bad), or shorter person. Anyway, during my talk he was telling me how he was very good at collages, and showed me a very large, A1 sized one that he had been doing over some weeks. He was telling me how the difficulty was in the size, and keeping it homogeneous, and I (for some reason) just blurted out "well, they do say bigger is better"... We had quite a good relationship by that point (before, not after) and I was not even thinking about his size when I said it, just about the mural... Needless to say it didn't go down all that well (though we did patch things up by the end). Very awkward. I won't be making that mistake again.

Famous actor suffering from dwarfism - Warwick Davis.

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