I was working on writing this gigantic 4,000-word monstrosity of a post where I tried to align specialty services with the old-school Dungeons and Dragons “Lawful/Chaotic vs Good/Evil” axes for character generation, and it was exactly as complicated as it sounds.
As I worked my way through it, I realized that half of what I wrote was about convincing specialists to come down to the ER and see my patients. At large academic centers where we residents train, we are almost always calling other residents for this task – and therein lies the rub. Like us, they are overworked and underpaid a flat salary to do their jobs. When I call the surgery resident for a consult, for example, I am creating work for them.
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Hello! Once again it has been forever, but I don’t care. I’ve been too busy trying to prevent my head from exploding from, once again, people being stupid.
(I am a tiny bit frustrated with vaccine hesitancy, which I sort of understand, and very frustrated with COVID deniers and other conspiracy theorists, who I think should be first boarded onto a 13-hour Spirit Airlines flight and then forcibly ejected out the emergency exits at 35,000 feet.)
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Well, from listening to the news it seems like we are inevitably headed for a massive, global pandemic. Millions of people will die. Soon thereafter, the zombies will rise, coughing and sneezing coronavirus loogies on the few healthy people left.
COVID-19(/the coronavirus/SARS-nCoV-2019/whatever) is likely to be, if it isn’t already, a pandemic. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people are probably going to get sick. Some will die. As an ER doctor, I am almost certain to catch the disease. Seriously. Continue reading →
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 →
Well, it’s been an entire eight months since my last away rotation and the attendant crippling anxiety brought on by the realization that everyone else is smarter than you, so we’re overdue.
The fourth year of medical school is especially strange with respect to my favorite syndrome.* After the end of away rotations and the submission of your residency application, interview offers start rolling in. As a medical student who by definition has spent the last 40 months getting emotionally kickboxed by people higher up on the totem pole (which is everyone), the interviews come as a wonderful respite.
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Some changes are coming to the blog – a new layout along with a new title. It’s been five years since I started this thing, and I’ve never updated it.
The new title is “Status Hazmaticus,” which for those of you not in medicine is a play on the phrase “status asthmaticus” – a person who is having an intractable asthma attack. The hazmat part (hazardous materials) is because:
- I still really like tox;
- A medical student (and, soon, new intern) is a horrifying danger to all those around them.
Also, it sounds cool.
Since starting this website in 2011, I’ve written nearly 150 posts, covering the trials of a premedical student all the way up to applying for residency. I’ve pulled together some of the most useful ones for students behind me or those aspiring to enter medical school. As always, these are very much tinged with bias, my attempts at humor, and poorly-written movie references. This post will be pinned and updated as the journey continues. Enjoy. Continue reading →
As almost-4th years, our class runs an annual “Parents Weekend” where we invite our parents to visit for a couple of days to get a taste of what it’s like to be a medical student here.
Needless to say, the Mom and Dad jumped on the opportunity and flew into town Friday afternoon. Continue reading →
On Monday my glorious vacation, filled with pool time and Tiller the dog and beer, ends with a sickening, wet plop – the sound my emotions make as they hit the poorly sterilized hospital floor.
I’m only being slightly dramatic. It could be worse: I could be back in biochemistry hell, which the current first years are just wrapping up. Sucks to be them. Continue reading →
Something I haven’t mentioned yet here is a recent change to our new med school curriculum: our clerkship/rotations year is now pass/fail. For those of you not in medical school, traditionally the rotations year is graded on a scale of Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail, which is functionally equivalent to A, B, C, D (it just sounds better to say “I passed” instead of “I got a C, mom!”). Continue reading →