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.

Continue reading

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

M.D.

Although it has been quite some time since my last post, rest assured that I – along with my classmates – were diligently at work, grinding through pathophysiology of kidney disease and Obtaining Outside Medical Reco—haha, no, we were all on vacation.

I went home to D.C., played with my dog, went to Colombia for two weeks, and drank on the beach enough to poison the Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading

The Fourth Year Lexicon

I’ve written twice before about funky medical words – once in first year, with Commonest Erythematous Palpation, and once at the end of second year with A Lexical Update. As I hit the big orange “CERTIFY” button on the rank list page last week, I realized that there is a completely different dictionary for the fourth year medical student.

As useless extra hands in the hospital go, we have basically completed our penance and have become experts in the Med Student Daily Apologia For Being An Idiot. In celebration, many of us – yours truly included – took huge chunks of time off to apply for and interview at residency programs. The process, while fun and exhausting and replete with enormous amounts of Netflix binge-watching, also generated a lexicon all on its own. Continue reading