Most conference presentations wash over my spongiform brain and swish straight down the drain. But one presentation at last month’s Australasian Medical Writers Association conference (forgive the plug) stuck in my mind, almost as if something had sealed up my brain drain (perhaps another plug?)
It was UNSW psychologist Jason Mazanov discussing performance enhancement in sport. He began with a fascinating thought experiment: ‘Imagine there was a drug that improved your performance as a doctor by 20 percent. Would you take it?’
Well yes, obviously, especially if it involved a double-shot macchiato delivery system. Late on a Friday, 20 percent would be conservative.
But then Mazanov asked whether, if it resulted in the same improvement permanently, we would choose to have a brain operation. His point was we don’t baulk at enhancement per se, but draw a line when it comes to the method. And everyone’s line is different.
His discussion moved on to Essendon footballers or something, but I was no longer listening, still distracted by his fascinating surgical option. Quite frankly, I didn’t know it was available.
After a quick online search, I phoned Pedro, a rogue brain surgeon, to discuss the procedure. He bamboozled me with the complexities – the guy was so brilliant, he could have been a rocket scientist.
Turns out Pedro underwent the performance enhancement surgery himself four years ago, and subsequently quit his job as one of those guys in fluoro vests who stand smoking next to road gangs.
Pedro was fast-tracked through med school, then soon admitted to two colleges – Brain Surgery (18 months at Royal Melbourne) and Orthopaedics (18 holes at Royal Melbourne).
“I don’t mean to boast, but I can now outperform you in every way.”
If you assumed you were reading a tale of my being done over by a fraudster, think again. Pedro operated on me last week—and it worked!
I am already 1.2 times smarter than you and fast catching up to ‘Lucy’ in that Scarlett Johansson brain-evolution film, even though I haven’t had my lips enhanced.
I’d describe exactly how Pedro did it, but your unenhanced 1.0 brain would start hurting. See, he first anastomosed a neoprene rubber disc to the crus of my fornix, then…oh hell, just think of it as inserting a plug.
I don’t mean to boast, but I can now outperform you in every way in the surgery. As soon as patients walked in the door yesterday, I was diagnosing diseases—including three rare ones. Tomorrow I’m billing them straight from the waiting room.
I’ve started vaccinating babies double-handed and last night I watched Dr House and solved everything before he did. Except lupus – who would have guessed?
In retrospect, it was probably a mistake to insist on watching five episodes with my wife back-to-back, particularly as I was the one facing the television.
Not sure she enjoys my enhanced intellect. I overheard her this morning on the phone to Pedro. Something about pulling the plug.