“What do you think about it Michael?” I’ve just walked into the doctor’s mess at lunchtime and the person posing me this question is my friend Andy, a junior surgeon.
“What do I think about what?” I say as I pull up a chair and open up my lunchbox.
“I’m thinking of getting a tattoo – but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea. People might look down on me because of it and I’m not sure that people will like it.”
“What are you going to get?”
“I don’t know, some sort of pattern – here on my arm” he says as he point to his forearm.
“Personally, I think tattoos there are pretty cool. If you want one, you should go for it.”
“Yeah – but what if the bosses don’t like it?”
“I wouldn’t worry too much about that – it’s your body after all and you can always cover it up.”
“Bare below the elbows, Michael!”
“Oh yeah, I forgot about that, you’re quite right, though I think we should take the ‘bare below the elbows’ thing with a pinch of salt.”
“And people will see it when I’m scrubbing up and stuff.”
“You’ve also go to think about what the patients might think,” pipes up Jo, one of the medical house officers.
“To be honest, I really don’t think that patients care,” replies Andy. “It’s more what my colleagues think that worries me.”
“To be honest with you Andy,” I interject, “I know that personally, I’m far too fickle to have a tattoo, but if I wasn’t and I found one I really liked, I’d probably get it done. But it’s up to you. All I’d say is that you should decide if you want it and if you do, go for it and not worry too much about what other people think.”
Andy furrows his brow, “Hmmm… perhaps you’re right, perhaps not. Watch this space.”
I’ll be watching with interest.