In my experience, there are 2 generations of Americans with very sharp contrasting characteristics! I can’t tell exactly where one generation starts and the other ends. The older generation is more stoic, harder working no-BS folks and the later generation is soft bone, more like snowflakes. An example of the older generation is a farmer from Seymour, who wants to be discharged from the hospital a day after he had surgery for intestinal obstruction; an example of the latter generation will be the young college student, who is asking for IV Dilaudid ( strong narcotic pain  medication) for pain when there is no obvious reason to have that pain. How the former generation gave birth to the later one is work worthy of research!

It’s amazing how the Civil Rights pioneers were beaten by cops and chased by German Shepherd dogs, just to get their basic freedom. And then you hear of the young black college kid who refuses to attend classes because he or she just saw a scribbling of “nigga” on a wall. And I am like “nigga puhlease” if it were up to soft bones like you we would still be sitting at the back of the bus! When you get bullied that’s the time to show courage and stand up to the bully!

The universities and colleges in America are now places where expressions of divergent views are abhorred! You have the right to protest White Supremacist speeches on campuses but to say you won’t let them speak at all is an anathema to the concept of what a university should be! University campuses are places where we share ideas no matter how obnoxious these ideas are!

The people I work with know my pet peeve is when asked to admit patients to the hospital for pain control when there is no obvious cause of the pain! Those cases are called Chronic Recurrent Abdominal Pain ie CRAP! For such cases I usually stroll to the ER, assess and discharge from the ER when appropriate!

On one particular occasion in 2008, I was asked to admit a young man with abdominal pain for IV PCA Dilaudid, one of the most potent self-controlled narcotics! The reason was for excruciating pain! His work-up including all blood work, urine, and CT of the abdomen were normal!. I went down to see this patient, who appears to have a ravenous appetite akin to a sh*thole lion that had not had a successful hunt in the last 3 weeks! This patient had 2 servings of twice baked potatoes, 2 cans of diet coke and a double portion of cheesecake desserts on his tray! I gently evaluated him and reassured him that though he had pain, in my opinion, the pain could be treated out of the hospital by his primary care or in a pain clinic!


He became livid and starting throwing F-bombs left and right! He then decided to tell me I was practicing reverse racism and that I was a reverse racist! I was surprised because I had never heard of reverse racist!  I asked my colleague in the ER what a reverse racist was and was told probably because I was black and doing something of displeasure to a white man I was a reverse racist! In my mind racism is racism irrespective of who practices it! 

And in this day where White Supremacists who are chanting “Jews will not replace us” are “good people” I have asked the Health Information Management  department of my hospital to provide me with the patient’s information so I can extract my full racist title!

I think I have been shortchanged!


By Dr. Yaw Denkyi Berko, a physician who practices internal medicine in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin 


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