As players in any roleplaying game we’re drawn to certain character classes and types. Some like the strong fighter-type, some like the sneaky information handler. In this feature, we highlight different players around the fleet in various positions to show how they approach their particular duty post. What drives them? What do they like most about the post? Have they discovered anything interesting in their duty? This month we turn our attention to Medicine, with Lieutenant JG Anath G’Renn of the Andaris Task Force ship USS Blackwell.
Trellis Vondaryan: To start, tell us a little about the writer behind the character — what is your name and where do you hail from?
Anath G’Renn: I normally just go by my first initial, J, and I am from Northeast Texas.
What first drew you to the Medical post?
I’ve always loved the sciences and was originally considering between science and medical. I generally tend to enjoy writing and reading about science, so I wanted to give the other blue shirt duty post a try and give myself a little extra challenge. On a more personal note, I have always found the medical officers on Star Trek to be some of my favorite characters in each series.
What is your favorite thing about the post?
I really appreciate the versatility in the duties of a medical officer. There is of course the obvious specific objectives required of medical by the mission, but that only scratches the surface of duties in and out of sickbay. Routine physicals, follow-up appointments, and of course paperwork are all things that will have to be done at some point. There is also the option to read (or write for) the Starfleet Medical Journal or take part in medical research while not on duty in sickbay. There’s so much flexibility in what you can use to fill your character’s work time.
How do you play your character (quirks, ideals, drawbacks, etc.)?
I like to play Anath as a character of conflicting natures and influences being held together by her desire to help other people. In my mind her chaotic and emotional nature combined with all the Vulcan discipline and ideals she grew up with are constantly in turmoil. In terms of her medical duties, this is often expressed as either retreating deeper into her work as an escape from personal conflict or through the stresses of the medical world ever so slightly interrupting the carefully balanced system of emotional control.
Any interesting medical issues you’ve encountered in the game?
With the unique nature of the USS Blackwell as a hospital ship not only have I gotten to encounter a mysterious new illness while on a mission, but I have also simmed through a medical triage scenario during my first mission. Just the sheer scale of such an operation provides unique challenges to work with like interesting medical conditions do.
Have you managed to do anything with those issues, or do you plan to in the future?
I really enjoyed using the chaotic nature and lack of closure in a triage situation to impact Anath’s thoughts in the aftermath. I always think that showing the cumulative effects of the events in sickbay grants those events more meaning in the long run.
Any advice to new players interested in this position?
The job of doctor is a very stressful one, so I would advise that anyone interested in being a medical officer considers carefully why their character chose to be a doctor. Between long hours, unpleasant duties, and the loss of patients there are many things about the medical department that could make it an unappealing career path. For that reason I think it is vitally important to understand why a character decided to pursue such a stressful occupation.
Have you seen (or written) any sims that highlight a good Medical officer?
I think that it is hard to point to a single sim that is a highlight of a good medical officer given that there are so many parts of the job. There are great sims that show a good grasp on Trek medicine or a comforting bedside manner or other individual components of being a medical officer. I think that the duty post is just so expansive in terms of its responsibilities that one sim can’t really highlight all that there is to doing the post justice.
Thanks again for your time.