From Auto Mechanic to Physician...
September 28, 2019 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Carl Allamby graduated from medical school at 47!
posted by dfm500 (10 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Awesome, and I hope he deals well with residency. Can't imagine doing that at 47
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:59 PM on September 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hmm. It feels like the skill of diagnosis would carry over from being a mechanic to some extent. Good on him!
posted by Quackles at 8:13 PM on September 28, 2019 [8 favorites]

What a great story, especially this "burn the ships" moment:

before classes began, he had to dissolve his auto repair business by hiring an auctioneer and selling off everything in a day

which nicely evoked a sense of closure and purpose and a tiny bit of apprehension.

Last I heard there was a movement away from residency as hazing and toward more manageable shifts, for the sake of both residents and patients. I hope so.
posted by Flannery Culp at 8:17 PM on September 28, 2019 [8 favorites]

Hmm. It feels like the skill of diagnosis would carry over from being a mechanic to some extent. Good on him!

One of my favorite stories from r/talesfromtechsupport is about a techy person who gets fed up with his doctor friend calling him up with tech support issues, saying "it's not working", and never explaining anything else about the problem. The doctor finally comes to Jesus when the techy person asks him to imagine what he would do if somebody called him up with a medical issue and just said "it hurts". I bet Dr. Allamby will not make the same sort of mistake.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:50 PM on September 28, 2019 [5 favorites]

The article on Allamby at the the first link just got better and better, and the second link introduced me to the "Good Black News" site (tagline: The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World). dfm500, thank you so much for this post!
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:22 PM on September 28, 2019 [4 favorites]

Nice thing about being a 47 yo neophyte is that you certainly don’t *look* like you’re wet behind the ears...
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 11:13 PM on September 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

I love this,
posted by davidmsc at 12:08 AM on September 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love reading about his journey. He just sounds so, so joyful as he discovered this path!

I cannot imagine doing residency, even in my late 30s; harder still to imagine it in late 40s after a lifetime of really hard work. I still think about it sometimes, though - I love working as a clinical/nutrition support dietitian but I get envious seeing the care ICU doctors provide. I definitely think residencies have gotten better over the last decade or two but it's still utterly brutal. A pretty standard week for residents rotating through my peds ICU would be:
Sunday: 28 hour shift into Monday
Monday: "off"
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10-12 hour shift
Friday: 28 hour shift into Saturday
Saturday: "off"

So about 85-90 hours. I'm told the 80-hour-week thing is about averages, not any individual week. I walk in past the resident call room every morning, and it's common to see a bed that's untouched or that someone's only laid on top of the covers for minutes at a time. I just couldn't do it. I have seen so many residents who just become outright stupid the morning after a challenging call. And then they get in their cars and drive home...
posted by obfuscation at 9:44 AM on September 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

(Seriously though my feelings on this post are overall very positive!)
posted by obfuscation at 9:48 AM on September 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks so much for posting this story. I needed the reminder that the world still includes good people (Dr Allamby, the professors who encouraged him, his supportive family, those behind The Partnership for Urban Health).

That said, I'm wondering if I am the only surprised by this:
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, less than 6% of medical school graduates nationally identify as black while 13 percent of the population is. The Association said the number of black males in medical school, despite a slight uptick last year, has been around the same since 1978. improvement in the last 40+ years?! We suck at being a society.
posted by she's not there at 5:01 PM on September 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

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