* * Anonymous Doc

Monday, July 20, 2009

Worked Saturday, was off on Sunday. Went to a museum. Was afraid all day that I would encounter someone having a medical emergency and would have to work on my only day off. The fear will pass. I think I was just tired.

On Saturday, I was talking to one of my patients, giving his family an update on his condition, and they asked a question about a certain experimental drug. I told them I would ask his attending and get back to them. They looked at me funny.

"So is the difference between you and [the attending] just that he's older, so he doesn't have to work weekends anymore?"

"No, he's an attending, and I'm an intern, which means I graduated from medical school but am still in training."

"Oh, you seem just like a regular doctor."


Nice to be confused for an attending, instead of confused for a nurse or a medical student, which is what usually happens.

This patient's attending is particularly unpleasant, so I think the family may have just been relieved to be dealing with someone who seemed like he had more than fifteen seconds to spend in the room, and wasn't trying to leave at the first possible exit from the conversation. But still, nice to feel like I'm able to fool the patients and their families into thinking I know stuff.

I mean, I do know stuff. I just don't know that much. Yet.

I did the math-- I'm 2% done with residency. It doesn't sound like much, but yet it does-- because it does really feel like it just started. And if I'm already a real percentage done. Well, I could do this length of time 49 more times, I think. That's not a thousand, or even a hundred. Forty-nine more three-week stints and I'll officially be finished. I think I can handle that.

I say that now, a week before my first overnight call... we'll see if I'm still saying it then.

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