* * Anonymous Doc: Hurricane.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I've been exchanging e-mails this past week with a few friends in New York, doing their residencies over there. And it seems beyond crazy. You think that-- despite the hours and the stress-- at least your job as a resident is secure. Barring something truly awful, you don't lose your job as a resident. And then your hospital floods. And it closes for weeks. And you... might still get paid.

Maybe not. Who knows. I know people who were at NYU, carrying patients down dark stairwells after the power went out, trying to keep track of patients without access to their (computerized) patient records, without monitors, without CT scans or x-rays, without anything. Patients with life-threatening conditions barely getting care. None of us are trained for third-world medicine. We barely know how to take blood pressure without a machine. Scary over there. Seriously scary.


  1. Very scary! And very much what we went through down here in Nola during Katrina. Doctors trying to evacuate patients from Charity hospital (in boats cause everything was flooded) were being shot at by someone from the rooftops for sport. Everyone down here feels the pain of our friends in the northeast because we more than anyone know exactly what they're going through (just trade out the cold for 100 degree August heat). Hoping power gets restored quickly!

  2. wow... wish you strenght to overcome this... luckily we don´t have such terrible things here, in central Europe!
    but still, I fing it "funny" (not the right word, forget me as I am not native speaker), that USA spends X bilions of dollars on wars and make so much effort to "help" others, while the ones who need those money and energy are at your doorstep... that´s what I fing scarry

  3. developing world...not third world. just sayin

  4. Someday you'll have to go international and practice medicine. I've been in Jamaica delivering babies while running water comes only 1 time a week. I've used pinards and watched docs assess patients without any equipment. You know, you take the machines out of the equation and the true docs/nurses do amazingly well. Just ask any nurse who calls a code before the monitors go off. Everyone should do it.

  5. Ambulatory veterinarians do this stuff more often than most people know. I've treated more than a handful out in the middle of a field, by flashlight or headlights. It's amazing what's possible with the right skill set and mindset.