Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Day in the Life

Someone call a psych consult on me STAT because I'm paying for this shit.
In other news, I got a haircut, Mom!

I got a text from my poor classmate who was on call last night at 2am.

"The list [of patients] is really long. [My Favorite Resident*] wants to start rounds at 5:30. Get here as early as you can."
*Heavy sarcasm

Usually we get in each morning around 5am and start the progress notes that the residents will fill out for each patient after we round on them at 6am.
This includes name, date, vital signs, ins & outs, medications, etc.
Basically glorified secretarial work.

I got this text message when I woke up at 4:30, threw on clothes and scarfed down an apple (all I would eat for the next 6 hours) on the way to the hospital.
We furiously filled out the progress notes and also transferred the vitals to a list of all the patients, which we made copies of for all the residents on the team.

Yesterday, My Favorite Resident had requested that we not make copies of the vitals list on pieces of paper that are 3-hole punched.

This morning we frantically looked all over the nurses' station for paper that wasn't pre-hole punched.
No luck.
Instead we raced up the stairs to meet the residents, stack of prepared progress notes in hand.

I handed My Favorite Resident the vitals list and saw him pause and his shoulders drop as he looked at it.

Preempting him I said, "Sorry, we couldn't find any paper that didn't have holes in it."

"I'm disappointed."

"I'm sorry you feel that way."

"I'm serious."

"I know you are."

"Did you check downstairs [6 flights] in the printer in the residents' lounge?"

"No, we ran out of time this morning because the list was so long."

"I'm not hearing anything you're saying. All I'm hearing is no, you didn't,"
and he walks away.

All this before 5:30am.

As happens at many points during my day, I was torn between the desire to laugh at the ridiculousness of his behavior and cry because someone like him is dictating my day.

Luckily, my day could only get better from there.

*I wore some new gold, happy shoes I got with my so far most flamboyant interpretation of a "professional" outfit.

Didn't know my face would be in this one...sorry for the creepiness...heh heh.

*I'm following the best attending this week, who is funny and kind and wonderful with patients and asks me how I'm doing [might not seem like a big deal, but common courtesy has been rare around these parts]. He told me he liked my shoes [I could've cried from the kindness] and that they reminded him of the Wizard of Oz, the book, not the movie because in the book her shoes were silver. Who knew?

*And he finished early, so I got to leave after only 10 hours at the hospital.
Which was good, because those new gold shoes might need some more breaking in...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I heart Story People

So when Cate and I were traveling (which you can read about here), sometimes the only emails we would get for days would be a Story of the Day from artist Brian Andreas' website.

And let me tell you, it's the only automated email that I always look forward to.

Sometimes it's like a horoscope and reflects my day perfectly.

Like this one, which I think will be my new motto for surgery.
Like I said, I heart Story People.

I think of it as a giant hallucination with really realistic smells, he told us. If I had to be here otherwise, I'd get too depressed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Surgery so far...

I've seen: more sunrises in a row than ever before in my life.
(also more butts, but the sunrises were prettier)

Thing I didn't know existed: an anoscope,
it's like the speculum for anal exams.

I worked: my first 80+ hour week...the first week of rotations.


I hate to say it, but the stereotypes have thus far proven to be true:
brutal hours, intensity, impatience in the operating room, 'pimping', feeling stupid 90% of the time.

Choice quotes:
Me: "What's in a Chem 6?" Attending: "Oh, this is going to be harder than I thought. You really are a medical student." [shakes head, laughing]

Attending to another student:
"You might want to do some reading before the next cases because I am going to pimp the f*&^ing s#$% out of you."

Resident to me: "You're leaving already?? Wow..." [condescendingly at 4pm when I'd been there since 5am]

But there have been some amazing, shining moments also:

*Some of the doctors and residents are really, really great teachers.
*I love learning IN the hospital and having clinical lectures that are relevant to what we're doing in the hospital.
* My first patient I saw in the ER, in the operating room, and after the operation when we saw her the next morning: "I remember you. You're the one who held my hand."
*Learning the system, the parts I value and the parts I hope to avoid in my practice.
*Feeling like I've actually started my medical training now.

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." David Brinkley

Wednesday, March 9, 2011



to post-boards.

Dreadlocks to hair.

Settled in Vermont to Nomad in Connecticut.

Studying for boards to studying for getting 'pimped'.

Second year to third year.

Things are a changing, as they do.
Just trying to make sure they change in a direction I want to go.

To days of inspiration,
Playing hookey, making something
Out of nothing, the need
To express-
To communicate,
To going against the grain,
Going insane,
Going mad
- Rent