Third Year Sucks Less

Yes, it has been very long. This is because my life outside of residency lately has been consumed with raising a small weapon of mass destruction named Otis.

This is Otis when I got him:

This is Otis now:

As you can see, he is a) much bigger and b) a Systematic Toy Destroyer. A well-meaning resident gifted me a plush toy for him; Otis ripped it in half in about thirty seconds.

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EM Senior

Another July has come, and with it an upgrade in my rank and nominally in my salary. I make a whole $2.75 an hour now!

In the third and fourth years of this program, I’m considered a “senior” resident. Senior residents have some additional responsibilities over those of juniors: we are supposed to keep an eye on the entire emergency department, make sure everyone is pulling their weight, lead resuscitations, and teach novice learners. Continue reading

Not My Hill

The journey through second year of residency is an interesting one. As I’ve mentioned before, we are tasked with two major, new responsibilities: performing most procedures and seeing a much greater volume of patients. We’ve all gone through a substantial adjustment period. It’s been hard.

One of these journeys is toward two, or greater, patients per hour. I hit this milestone rather infrequently. In fact, it is about as likely for me to achieve this as I am to win a game of Oregon Trail. It is far more likely that I will die of dysentery, or make it no further than Fort Collins before my oxen quit on me. Continue reading

Discharge to Home

When you go to the ER for medical care and are discharged home, almost every ER will send you home with “discharge instructions.” In a perfect world, this would contain information that is actually relevant to the patient’s medical condition and cover what was done in the ER, the results of lab tests and imaging studies, and “return precautions” – when to come back to the ER. Continue reading

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