Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Several days ago, we operated on a patient with advanced anal cancer. Not many of the medical students on my service had seen anal cancer before, so I decided to make a mini-presentation and teach them about it. Since half of the students didn't get to see the actual anal cancer we worked on in the OR, I decided to go on-line and see if I could find any pictures from a pathology database.

So I type in "anal cancer pictures" on Google and get several hundred links. Most of them are dead ends, with just text. I click on one link that looks promising. Since I'm on a slow internet link here in the bayou, it takes time for the pictures to come through. I wait patiently for the picture to materialize only to find myself looking at homosexual porn, with men sticking their you-know-whats you-know-where.


Immediately I feel myself blushing, and it feels like everybody is looking at my screen. I scramble for the mouse and try to close the window, but the computer is old and it takes the harddrive some time to think through my request before it does it. And of course, as soon as that window closes, several more pop up. All in the agonizing slow way as the first window. Each with another scene even more revolting and pornographic than the previous.

With all the frantic mouse clicking from my corner, I'm just waiting for the librarian to come over and ask what I'm doing. Like most large companies, I'm sure internet access at the hospital is monitored for activity, raising red flags for visiting non-approved sites. As I sat there trying to close the pop-ups regretting my decision to teach about anal cancer, I could see this resulting in a visit to Somebody Important's office so I can get a finger shaken at me or my wrist slapped.