A New Mexican medical student shadowed me the other day. He was part of a group of American medical students learning about Canada's health care system.
I always enjoy having students - their youth and enthusiasm is refreshing - and this one was no exception. He had to duck out early to meet up with his group, and as he thanked me for my teaching he rummaged in his backpack and pulled out a pink envelope. It was deliciously bulky, and I set it aside to open after I had finished seeing patients.
At lunch I pulled out the card, and this fell out:
This amused me for the rest of the afternoon.
I am the least likely person to wear a button of any sort, especially a political one. Especially one touting the politics of another country. Did he assume I would be an Obama supporter because I'm Canadian and ergo a liberal? Because I'm a physician? Had the Republicans won, was there any chance that a medical student would have given me a McCain pin? I imagined how my colleague would have responded had a student given him a W pin four years ago. It would have been evaluation suicide.
I showed my gift to the front staff, who all admired it and hinted that they would like to have it. I declined. It was a thoughtful and unexpected gift, and the optimism of the medical student, the gesture and the prevailing mood of post-inauguration USA all came together for me in this small metal square.
So I'll be keeping it. But I'm as likely to wear it as a New Mexican physician would be to wear a Stephen Harper button.