The Liver ICU

The second year of residency begins. The new interns have arrived (we have already lightly haz- uh, introduced them to residency) and are bright-eyed and fun to work with… just as I go onto off service rotations for two months.

Those of you who are loyal readers of this site (hello Grandmas, parents, and random fan club from South Africa) may notice a website name change. “Status Hazmaticus” proved too difficult to remember. I also realized that since my quest to complete my medical training has been marked by a tremendously amount of bumbling, falling, and general clumsiness, a more accurate website name – “Crashing Resident” – was in order.

Crashing Resident is also a play on an existing terrific website, Crashing Patient, which is an online textbook for emergency medicine and critical care. Continue reading

Intern Year is Over

The new interns started their orientation this week.

I say this mostly because it means I am just a few short days away from no longer being “the intern.” This is fantastic news, mostly because it relieves me of the duty of explaining to non-medical people the vestigial and archaic distinction between an intern and a resident. Just so everyone (grandma) remembers:

I made that diagram. Aren’t you impressed?

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Night Float

I am back in the Cardiac Care Unit this rotation. If you recall my earlier tribulations from my previous CCU block, this means I am once again forced to Constantly Replete Potassium. I have never really forgotten how much I hated the CCU – all other rotations are judged in relative fractions of CCU terribleness – but I had, at least, airbrushed out the violent rage induced by being interrupted every eleven seconds about electrolytes.

(This post is, in fact, not about electrolyte repletion, although there will be frequent references. You may all breathe a sigh of relief.) Continue reading

It’s 3 AM And I Wanna Go To Bed

If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard from me in awhile, it’s because I went directly from the Potassium Repletion rotation, which I absolutely despised, onto internal medicine wards. I am not sure why it is called a “wards,” rotation, but basically it’s the same thing I did in med school – rotating on an internal medicine team. I actually finished my “IM” rotation two weeks ago and have since been on an obstetrics service catching babies, but that’s a story for another time.

I’m behind. Residency is hard. Leave me alone.

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Potassium.

I am on the cardiac care unit, which is a supposed intensive care unit. I say “supposed” because none of the patients I am caring for are actually sick; almost all of the patients in the “CCU” are in a holding pattern until something definitive can be done by another person. For instance, there are people awaiting heart transplants. Others are awaiting implantation of an implantable defibrillator. Continue reading

Awaiting Return of Bowel Function

As I wrote last week, I am on a surgical service, trauma, at the moment. And my day is governed by, and revolves around, poop.

It is astounding how much of my daily well-being on trauma is influenced by the ability of someone else to poop. I think about it literally all day. It is often the first question I ask patients in the morning and the last question I ask them before I go home. It sits on my constantly-growing, frequently changing TO DO list I carry with me as the only constant: “Check on BMs for Patients A, B, F, W, P.” Continue reading

A Traumatic Recollection

Okay so in case you were wondering, being a resident is way better than being a med student.

Residency started with an ultrasound block. The ultrasound block consisted mostly of watching videos about How To Ultrasound Stuff, and then going to the emergency department and trying to ultrasound stuff. It was a very relaxing time. I even tried to teach the med students with us stuff about ultrasound, although this was limited by the fact that both students were smarter than this July intern and knew it. Continue reading