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

Of NARH and NARS

The title will make sense later. Trust me.

As I’ve mentioned before, I split most of my residency training time between two hospitals: a large tertiary care center that has all the bells and whistles, and an understaffed county hospital that on occasion struggles to perform basic functions of a healthcare facility, such as checking routine vital signs or (spoiler alert) admitting patients.

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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

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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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

Are We There Yet?

Am I still a medical student? I am legitimately no longer sure.

In the last four weeks, I’ve flown to five different cities, taken a two-week family vacation to Japan, stayed in enough hotel rooms to bankrupt a minor consulting firm, and worn a suit enough to notice that I am clearly fatter than when I had it first tailored in 2012. Continue reading