I would like to blame my prolonged absence again on COVID-19. To be fair, it does dominate about 95% of my work life and probably 50% of my personal life, but honestly, I’ve just gotten lazy.
The last time I published here was March 5, where I started with “it seems like we are inevitably headed for a massive, global pandemic.” For once on this blog, I get to say I WAS RIGHT ABOUT SOMETHING IN RESIDENCY! No attending or dad can correct this.
As of this writing, my area’s daily hospitalization rates look like a Space-X rocket launch. We’re out of ICU beds, regular beds, gurney, cots, sleeping bags, and patience. The worst is somehow yet to come. I am coping with this impending doom by playing with my dog and, finally, writing again.
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
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.
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
In a little more than a month, the new interns will arrive. Much like last year when I wrote “Intern Year is Over,” I greet this milestone with joy and relief – not because I am thrilled and excited for the interns to roll in, but because I am thrilled and excited to be DONE. WITH. SECOND. YEAR.
“Why?” the interested reader/grandma may ask. After all, if intern year is when you learn the byzantine system that is medicine at two different academic centers, second year is when you focus on your actual medical knowledge. Your procedural skills. Your team-based communication. Continue reading
I have not written in quite some time because I have been on a terrible rotation consisting almost entirely of things I despise: rounding, nights, and potassium.
That’s right – I’m back on a cardiac ICU unit! Continue reading
After an overnight shift where I spent five hours of eight on the phone transferring out three patients with brain tumors to three different hospitals because I was working at NARH, I read an article entitled, “Leading Healthcare Organizations Declare Physician Burnout As ‘Public Health Crisis.’”
(Yes, mom, I know that’s a run-on sentence.) Continue reading
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
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.
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