rAdIoLoGy NoTeS 08 - Lost in Translation 4/06/2008 08:12:00 PM

There are several doctors of a certain nationality who pay to train at our hospital for a month at a time at the different sections but are actually based the other affiliate hospitals. As much as possible, I try to be civil with them and teach them the little a current first year resident knows. On my last duty though, for some reason, one of them thought I wasn't being civil by not greeting him first and just nodding when he greeted me as I was attending to something else (turns out in their culture, he of a higher class is used to being greeted first... so does that mean I'm of a lower class? Maybe because I'm female?) And when I entered the control room, I politely asked for the chair he was sitting in (my favorite chair, the only one tha can be adjusted to the very different heights of the viewers of the two machines). Initially, he refused then gave in when I explained the need. Next thing I knew, he left the room, would not talk to me when I pointed out an interesting case and did not return for the rest of the day... As usual, the very observant techs had a field day coming up with all sorts of jokes and asides from the downright insane (the CT-scan will be bombed!) to the hilarious (should we now accompany you home everyday from now on for your protection?) because of the situation. They are usually the ones I grab that chair away from. I can just sigh... Maybe he has yet to learn the saying that goes "In Rome, do as the Romans do?"

The Philippines is extrinsically paternal but intrinsically maternal. As the eldest child, I have been used to having my say in things. People who know me are definitely sure that I never let anyone of the opposite gender get away with things just because they are male...

I did similarly ask for a chair form another person of the same nationality in somewhat similar circumstances, and he gladly gave it to me without any such adverse reaction... I guess it's just him them...