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

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

Intern

So, we’re interns now. At some point in the last two weeks, someone handed me a pager and an ID badge that says “M.D.” after my legal name. Next week, my co-interns and I start taking introductory shifts in our emergency room.

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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

How The Match Works

As I wrote in PANIC! At the ERAS, the final step in obtaining a spot in a residency program is the Match. Like I mentioned, after all the interviews everyone’s preferences – and the preferences of all of the programs – go into a big computer and get processed through some algorithm, which somehow pops out a “best match.” This process is administered by one central service, called the National Resident Matching Program, or NRMP, so they control everything from start to finish. Continue reading