Matter of Perspective   1 comment

Last evening, I attended a microbiology society dinner meeting, an organization that I’ve belonged to for 25 years now.  We meet three times a year, in October, January, and April.  There are typically two speakers following the dinner.  Last night, the first speaker was a well-known Infectious Disease doc from the University of Minnesota who has been extensively involved in the AIDS epidemic since its start back in the 1980s.  The second speaker was a physician and an author who has written books from an historical perspective on disease.  He talked specifically about cholera last night.

The conversation around the break table this morning at work was interesting from the standpoint that most everyone was of the opinion that Dr. Rhame, the infectious disease doctor who specializes in AIDS treatment and research, was way “over the top” in terms of graphic information in his talk.  Way too much information, was the consensus this morning.  Listening to specific information about the HIV transmission risk of oral sex between women and tranmission risk of swallowing ejaculate and the risk incurred by anal intercourse with and without a condom was just pushing the limits of what some people could comfortably listen to.  I realized that this would be the case as I was listening to Dr. Rhame’s talk last night.  I wondered then how some of my colleagues were handling the sexually graphic information.  Not particularly well, as it turned out.

Then there was the following speaker who talked graphically about “rice water stools” and showed pictures of what such stools look like, along with photographs and drawings of people violently ill with diarrheal disease.  My colleagues found this talk to be very interesting and continued to schlep their tapioca pudding for dessert without batting an eye.   Good talk! was the overwhelming opinion. 

Interesting, though, that folks cringe at “too much information” of a sexual nature, information that is so very relevant that it may save their lives or the lives of a loved one.  Discussing fulminant diarrhea and showing pictures of it over supper while people are eating?  Not a problem!  Pass the chocolate cake, please!

Quirky bunch of people I work with!  😉


Posted October 24, 2008 by StPaulieGrrl in Career

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One response to “Matter of Perspective

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  1. It seems people are more comfortable talking about the bathroom than the bedroom. I am more comfortable with bedroom talk than bathroom, but that is just me.

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