Sunday, August 03, 2008


Has anyone been watching this "Hopkins" miniseries on ABC? About the men and women that work at Hopkins? It's a 6-part documentary about the Johns Hopkins hospital and the nurses and doctors that work there. Watching the first episode, I was pretty impressed by the intense amount of drama all wrapped up in 42 minutes. Then again, if you could bundle up the most intense moments of a year in the shoes of any resident, it'd be pretty damn exciting.

It made me reflect back on my own intern year. I talked it over with a few other residents in surgical fields and we decided that while, yes, we all shared some intense moments, for the most part, if a camera crew followed us around at random over the course of a year, they would catch us doing a variety of quite un-glamorous things:

- "Discharge to SNF paperwork. Loads. And loads. Of paperwork."

- "Begging social work to help us find our patients a SNF."

- "You thought going into medicine was about helping people, but it's actually about writing notes. Thousands and thousands of notes."

- "Watch the intern as she spends hours on the phone making follow-up appointments!"

- "You listen very, very closely on rounds. Then you make about a million checkboxes in the margins of the sign-out based on even the most casual of comments made. Everyone then goes off the OR. You spend your day getting each and every single box on that list checked off by the time evening rounds happen, so help you God."

- "Even if your checkboxes list such tasks as, 'Find patient's roommate so she can get key to her apartment back so she can go home' and 'Patient needs semi-truck moved from where it is parked in the ED parking lot.'"