Sure, that’s a pun up there. I’m happy to make them, because this is a job that breeds a thick skin and a healthy sense of humor. It starts in medical school when those of us who dive into the deep dark depths of proctology must endure constant ribbing; and it continues through residency training. It’s also simply a truism of our society that proctology is the butt of all jokes.
Hey look, another one.
In fact a quick survey of recent news stories reveals the fact that my chosen field is often deployed as a metaphorical proxy for all things gross and invasive. To wit:
New York Times: “Venture capitalists are putting founders through everything short of a proctology exam before they invest,” said Venky Ganesan…
CIO: “It’s just that no one wants to be the first one to get a full proctology exam from the regulators as to how they planned out their cloud environment…”
Examiner: “Kourtney Kardashian looks as if she is getting a “street proctology” exam from Scott Disick in a very public parking lot.”
Even when the context is technically on point, the japes fly fast and heavy, as in this obit from the Manteca Bulletin: “It was noted Yee was known as ‘the rear admiral’ for his work in proctology.”
Look, we get it. This is an inherently embarrassing area of the body which makes people squirm, both figuratively and literally. And here’s a secret: Many of us actually enjoy the jokes, and share them with colleagues, and even pen a few of our own from time to time.
Indeed, there is no question that proctology is a little bit funny. And we’re all pretty much cool with that, provided that people also occasionally realize that this field can be a matter of life and death.
So to recap: The world can giggle all it wants. We’ll still be here when your bottom hits bottom, providing expert medical treatment when what’s down south, goes south.