* * Anonymous Doc

Monday, October 26, 2009

A new crop of third-year med students started today, doing their sub-internships. It's nice to feel smarter than they are. To know a little bit about what to do, to feel like I'm not the most useless one on the team. It's silly for me to feel that way-- it's silly for me to like feeling superior, and to actually think I'm superior-- I'm sure they know more than I did when I was a third-year med student. But still, it's nice to feel like after a few months of doing this, I know enough to teach someone something. I know enough to feel like I'm not completely lost all the time. I know enough to be able to distinguish real crisis from fake crisis. Sort of.

It's been a running joke with the girl night float that nothing ever happens to my patients. They're pretty boring. When I'm signing in every morning we joke about it, maybe we're flirting a little bit, I'm not sure. So today when she said, "Your patients! What a night!" I thought she was kidding, like she usually is. But no. One of my patients was discovered at 4:45AM unable to move the left side of his body. That's when these things are discovered, since the nurses mostly ignore the patients all night until they round just before 5. He had a massive stroke during the night. They didn't know how long he'd been that way, so there wasn't much treatment to do. It's unfortunate-- I mean, he wasn't in good shape beforehand, he probably only has a few weeks left, so even while I feel bad and it's a sad situation, it's less sad than if the same thing happened to someone healthy. So instead of the playful flirting with my co-intern, I had to go run and check on the patient and see what was going on. Another one of my patients fell out of bed just after midnight, but luckily didn't break anything. And another one threw a little fit in the middle of the night wanting to check himself out of the hospital. "They didn't call you," he told me in the morning. "I told them to call you and you would say it was okay for me to go home." Uh, no. I would have said you need to stay in the hospital, and I'm glad they didn't call me, because I was fast asleep. Patients don't really understand the work schedules. I'm glad they don't give out our cell phone numbers to the patients.

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