Medicine – and medical learning – is a matter of intense study, learning what is new, and sometimes discarding old incorrect ideas. As a professor of medicine, I practiced medicine, performed clinical research, but my greatest love was to teach. There is a lot of repetition, which is good, in medicine, and I often felt my major job was to remind my students, interns and residents of what they already knew, but perhaps had buried within the deep recesses of their minds. Unwittingly, I fell into the habit of prefacing my “reminders,” i.e. “factoids,” with the phrase, “as you well know.”
Well, it turned out that many felt they did not well know, in fact, they never knew this piece of information. So in jest, at one year-end “graduation” ceremony for the residents, I received a gift – a gift which I cherish to this day – a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase on the front, “as you well know” and — in the back, “NOT.”
I would be the recipient of other items of appreciation from other years of graduating students and residents – like the tape recorder, to record what I had previously said – when I had interrupted myself from a train of thought (as I interrupt everyone else, incorrigibly) – but the T-shirt remains the pièce de résistance!