Skin: the most embarassing organ of the body

So I went to the dermatologist for the first time in many years last week. As a descendant of pasty, germanic countries, I’m somewhat prone to moles, freckles, and so on, which puts me in a risk group for skin cancer and blah di blah. Anyway, I’m supposed to go see someone every few years.

So it’s the normal schtick: take off your clothes, down the underwear behind this screen, and the doctor will be here to see you in a second. So I follow protocol, and get undressed in the frigid air of the MIT Medical center, and wait patiently for my new skin doctor.

You can never judge a doctor by their name. So in walks an oldish (in terms of earth history) man, slightly decomposed, and very full of stories. He’s got to be the oldest dermatologist on earth, I’m thinking to myself as he asks me if I know about the 6 risk factors of skin cancer.

“You mean the ABC’s of moles? I think I got a pamphlet about that the last time I had a checkup.” This launches him into story mode. Apparently, during the 60’s, before anyone knew what early melanoma looked like, he was involved in a skin clinic at Mass. General Hospital. At the time, the warning sign for skin cancer was any mole or patch that had become pussy and irritated (which, in mole lingo is already a metastasized tumor). Anyway, they started to notice that people with these afflictions tended to have moles with irregular borders or strange colors — B and C.

Apparently some doctors in New York got a hold of the information and came up with Asymmetry, Diameter, and Elevation to round out a clean ABCDE, but the important letters being (of course), B and C. Then the door opens behind the screen, and his assistant asks if it would be alright for a student to observe. Before I can even open my mouth, mid-story the doctor responds:

“Cameron doesn’t mind, it’s fine, send her in.”

“I wasn’t asking you, I was asking Cameron.”

How could I refuse? I’d be shattering the expectations of the man that invented the B and C of the ABC’s of moles! Of course as soon as I agree, in walks a 6’2″ blond Austrian girl who has all of the stereotypical features (she’s attractive to say the least). I’m comfortable with women doctors; in fact, I tend to prefer women when given the choice.

The two proceeded to check me from head to toe, flipping me over once to make sure I was done on both sides. Everything looked alright, except one on my back which they took a picture of (which I subsequently put beside my bed to remind me). Right before he was about to leave, he asked me why I came in (since I was obviously clean). I told him that I had a mole on my inner thigh that I was worried about.. let’s just say it’s in a “remote location.” So the doctor told me to drop my trousers, which made his student blush and retreat,

“I’ll leave,” she blurted.

“Don’t worry, Cameron doesn’t mind. You’re a doctor… if you were a secretary, things would be different. But you’re not…”

Ahh, the sexual indifference that comes with age. I can’t wait until I’m old and sexless and able to take advantage of young, emotional kids. I just hope that she has as good of a time telling the story as I do.

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