Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ooh I love the way the way you love me Ooh to feel the way I feel

OK, sorry, the IVF nurses are apparently listening to Faith Hill's Greatest Hits in the room across the hall and that song is so friggin' annoying yet so catchy, I just know it's gonna be in my head all day. Don't you hate that? Like, I'll be trying to have a serious conversation with a research subject, maybe explain to her that we found calcification in her blood vessels and whatnot and then "WHOAOOHWHOAOOHWHOA the way you love me!" pops up in your head and completely derails your train of thought.

I got my M4 schedule back and it's almost exactly what I wanted, except my first rotation in July is ER instead of radiology which was my first choice. I think this is an improvement from my first M4 schedule which had me signed up for 3 sub-I's though.

I am really, really nervous about starting rotations again. Especially ER. I think ER in particular is one that will utilize many skills that I lost during research. Like thinking on your feet, quick decision-making, and withstanding verbal abuse. Oh the yelling. Always! With THE YELLING. And I understand that it's because they're ER docs and all YOU ARE ALL WAY TOO GODDAMN SLOW and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY are you STILL with that patient and what is this TALK BEFORE TOUCH craziness WE ARE ER DOCS WE ARE SO BUSY AND IMPORTANT but I just can't stand the yelling. And (oh god this is so embarassing) I have been known to get teary a time or two when ALL THE YELLING starts. Besides just being completely embarassing this may also score you the title of "that emotional girl" and "I'd hate to see her pregnant." [--Maggie] But, there was one time when crying actually earned me an afternoon off.

Let me make a quick but relevant point here--if you're a medical student, I don't want to surprise or scare you with this information, but--get ready--YOU'RE UTTERLY USELESS. Your presence means nothing and despite what anyone says, you contribute nothing. In fact you're probably only getting in the way. This was a huge shock to me M3 year. I was all excited to "help people" and "save lives" and whatnot. This misconception quickly ended with my first rotation, which happened to be Surgery.

[whoaoohwhoaoohWHOA the way you love me!]

Few attendings understand the core of your meaninglessness better than the surgeons do, but the unfortunate flip side of this is that they will NEVER bother to keep you informed about where they are, what they're doing, what they expect from you etc. (Unless someone needs a digital rectal exam or a manual disimpaction or some other feces-intensive procedure. Then everyone's all "Where's the med student?")

Just to give a little background when you're on your surgery rotation, you are expected to stay with the patient the whole time. You wheel them back to the OR, you stay with them after the operation when they come up from anesthesia, you help with the bed transfers, and then you wheel them back to the PACU. Of course by then your resident and attending have already left to go do the post-op paperwork and it's up to you to hunt them down. (One day we had a hernia repair scheduled after a 7-hour long Whipple procedure and after I wheeled the patient out I sat in the PACU confusedly waiting for my resident (who had explicitly said "Don't page me. Just come find me in the PACU.") for an hour while unbeknownst to me they postponed the hernia til tomorrow, quickly rounded on the patients and then went home. Finally one of the PAs was nice enough to tell me that she saw my resident leaving a half hour ago. Education!)

So where was I? Ah yes. Crying in the OR. That's where we're going, people. Stay with me.

6:00 AM I pre-rounded on my patients as usual and ran into my resident, "Carlos" up on the floors. Carlos was all, get the notes written and I'll see you in the OR later. My attending's cases ALWAYS started at 7:30 so naturally I figured that's what time he meant. I finished my notes and was v. happy because I had time to go get some coffee and a muffin, then I got changed into my scrubs and went to the pre-op area at 7:10.

7:11 AM Odd. I don't see my attending anywhere.

7:12 AM I go look at the OR schedule at the nurses' desk. I don't even see his name anywhere on the schedule. Weird.

7:15 AM Well I'll just sit here and wait for Carlos.

7:25 AM I ask around and no one has seen Carlos or my attending.

7:28 AM The case should be starting soon. I'll just go peek around the different ORs and maybe I'll find them.

7:31 AM I am v. relieved to find Carlos scrubbing in outside of one of the ORs. He says the patient's already draped and prepped so go ahead and get scrubbed in. He quickly explains that my attending is out of town today so we're scrubbing in with a substitute, who, for the sake of conversation, let's call "Dr. Poop." And, upholding the longstanding surgical legacy of ignoring your medical student, no one had bothered to tell me that my attending was gone and I was to scrub in with Dr. Poop that day.

7:32 AM Carlos finishes scrubbing and goes in to the OR.

7:33 AM Scrub scrub scrub

7:34 AM Oh here comes Dr. Poop outside to scrub. Now I can introduce myself and explain why I'm a couple of minutes late.

R: Inhales and begins to form her lips around the "h" sound to say hello.


R: Man, I SO would not want to be the person he's mad at. Looks around for the poor bastard who's about to be the recipient of a brand new asshole.


R: Omigod. He's yelling at me? Lower lip starts to quiver.


R: yessiritwonthappenaganisiripromiseimreallysorry.

R and Dr. P: Walk awkwardly together back into the OR.

R: tearfully dons gown and gloves

Carlos: (whispering) Sorry dude, I totally forgot to tell you.

R: Afraid to say anything because her voice gets pitchy and weird when she cries.

Dr. P: Curses vehemently, violently rips things out of patient's thorax, throws instruments about at people's heads. Continues for entire procedure.

Dr. Poop finally leaves to go yell at someone else, leaving me and Carlos to close up.

C: Are you OK?

R: Still teary. Yea.

C: Hey, um, why don't you just go home after this case? I'll tell Dr. Poop you had lecture.

R: Ha ha!! Score! R: !, Dignity: 0


$@R@T# said...

lucky u...
i can stil remember few girls who wept their way home when they were supposed to be in the lab cutting frogs/mice..
i never got a chance as the only thing i cut ever in a lab was onion peel slid it under a scope and look at the cells....

Kristina said...

Thanks, now it's in *my* head... ;)

Do you love it- what you do? I can't freakin WAIT to love it....

Bongi-Amma said...

eeks, im a 4th year med school in england and i gotta say medicine sounds a whole lot different here!! nobody yells at us in A&E and generally the surgeons either totally ignore you or are super nice to you! What year you in?kuucm

square peg said...

Medical school is fun! Although I am currently doing research, so everything is all happy and relaxed for me at the moment.

And the attendings are mostly nice, Dr. Poop is just an asshole.

sparkydoom said...

are most surgeons like dr.poop?

$@R@T# said...

hey i think ur web log is nice can i please link urs on mine?

square peg said...

Um, sure if you want.

Chick Pea said...

miss peg: keep the night of july 14th free... will be in chitown celebrating with my post boards bash, and you MUST me at and i'll put you on the EVITE :)...

h-izzo said...

haha, great entry...i've already cried in front of an SP, so who knows what's in store for me at the hospital...