This week I started my emergency medicine month and I am a kid in a freaking candy store.
I’ve loved emergency medicine, or the concept of it, since I was sixteen years old when I first took a lifeguarding class. I did this so that I could spend my summers on staff at jewcamp getting tan instead of shepherding campers around, because I am lazy and vain. Continue reading
Halfway through last year, I wrote “Commonest Erythematous Palpation,” a post illuminating some of the ridiculous medical terminology doctors use every day. As second year draws to a close – I’m just five weeks from the end of my last rotation, not that I’m counting or anything – I thought I’d provide you with an update with a more clinically-focused bent.
See, last year we learned all these fancy words, but it was like learning formal Spanish when most people in the real world use slang. It’ll carry you in a pinch, but people think you’re an idiot. Continue reading
I am currently on my pediatrics rotation, which is a wonderful and fantastic world for a number of reasons:
- Everyone is nice, although this means by definition I cannot be a pediatrician;
- The patients get better;
- You get thrown up on all the time.
Iiiiiiiit’s SOAPBOX TIME PART TWO!
Let’s start with a throwback to my surgery rotation.
Allow me to describe, briefly, the scene before a minor surgery. Like a lipoma excision, or a skin graft. The room is sterilized about fifteen minutes before the patient is wheeled back; no one is allowed in without a mask. Once the patient comes in and is put under anesthesia, they’re sterilely draped. You can’t even touch the lights without a special sterile holder, and anyone near the sterile field has to wear a ridiculous-looking full-length gown and specially-sized gloves. Continue reading
Holy sh*t, neurology is hard.
(I’m off the soapbox to give y’all a break. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with more faux-righteous anger, probably about how white coats are pretentious germ blankets that we should categorically ban from medicine, next week or so.) Continue reading
Upon returning from winter break, I started up rotations again with psychiatry. Psych is unlike every other block in so many ways: there’s no physical exam, you spend tons of time with patients, and we have basically no idea why any major treatment works. Really.
I need to qualify the rest of this post, as usual when I say untoward things about people or fields where I’m working: patients here are clearly sick and need intense treatment, and there is nothing funny about people who are seriously mentally ill. Continue reading
My time on trauma was probably the most intense three weeks of medical school so far – even compared to the three weeks leading up to a major block exam, like I’ve written about before. When you hear “trauma,” you think of crazy accidents and dramatic TLC reenactments and emergency surgeries. There is some of that, but the majority of the time is spent in the ICU after someone has been stabilized “status post” getting hit by a Volvo. In other words, critical care. Continue reading
As I mentioned before, surgery is a tremendous learning experience. I’d contend, though, that the amount of clinical and “book” knowledge is met or even exceeded by the so-called “shadow curriculum” – the socialization into the life of medicine that goes far beyond the words in a textbook. It’s why you can’t simply read everything and know what you need to be a doctor. Continue reading
My first taste of surgery, the first two weeks, was on the anesthesiology service. Anesthesia was awesome. It’s a “surgical” specialty that has magical hours: my day usually ran from 6:30 to around 5 in the afternoon. Compared to trauma, where the hours can only be described as horrible (we’ll get there), this was a cakewalk. A typical day: Continue reading
It has been a rough four weeks for humor.
Last time I wrote, I was finishing up my OB/GYN rotation – may it forever stay in my past – and beginning surgery. My first two weeks on surgery were in anesthesia, which has scant moments of humor. Now I’m rotating through the trauma service, which is essentially The ICU For People Who Get Hit By Volvos. So that, plus needing time to sleep, equals no posts in a month. Continue reading