Liam Farrell: We may not be pretty, but we will be rewarded

Farrell's First Law: in any photograph of any medical meeting, the good-looking ones are always the drug reps.

And don't accuse me of male chauvinism; this law applies to all known sexes. If the guy has a firm jaw and a smooth suit and a six-pack, if the girl is slim and chic and could pass herself as continental, they ain't one of us.

As Friedrich Holderlin, the mad German poet, wrote: 'Who the deepest has thought loves what is most alive/Wide experience may well turn to what's best in youth/And the wise in the end will/Often bow to the beautiful.'

They are beautiful, so they must know better than us. They are the popular kids, the jocks and the cheerleaders; we are the nerds and the geeks, and you'll always find us in the kitchen at parties.

Let's face it: as professions go, we are not renowned for our physical perfection. Dr Kildare and Doug Ross are fantasy creations only; there is no reflected glory here, they serve only to taunt us, to make us look even worse by comparison, twisting the knife even further in the wound.

But why should nature be so bloody unfair? Why should we be the ones inflicted with the jowls and the double chins and the halitosis and the crumbly fingernails and the spectacles and the dog-like expressions?

It's as if there is something in our genetic make-up which says to itself early in life: 'OK, so my face isn't going to be my fortune, I'll have to try some other device to ensure the perpetuation of my genes; I know, I'll waste the best years of my life studying like the devil, it seems to work for Dr Kildare and Doug Ross, I've seen it on the telly, so it must be true.'

And this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; throughout our careers beauty becomes more and more elusive and unattainable.

We develop big flabby arses from all the time we spend sitting at the books and we get bad skin from being indoors and eating greasy canteen food.

We do have a consolation, however; as our genes have carefully calculated, eventually their plan will come to fruition.

What goes around, comes around, and mother nature has allowed us some compensation. After all, isn't power the ultimate aphrodisiac?

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