Sunday, January 24, 2010

Star Wars

I often wonder what I will be like as an attending physician someday. On call last night I witnessed the following conversation between my resident and the on-call attending:

Resident: "This patient came in presenting with right upper quadrant pain, nausea, vomiting and..."
Attending: (waving hand in front of resident's face) "These aren't the droids you're looking for."
Resident: "...on exam she had moderate tenderness to palpation with a positive murphy's sign and..."
Attending: (repeating hand motion) "These are not the droids you're looking for."
Resident: "Okay. Yes, I'm familiar with Star Wars."

I guess I can be however I want. It's going to be great!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Medical students follow attendings everywhere they go. I have almost followed attendings into the bathroom about 4 or 5 times. In fact, we have a tendency to follow all kinds of people: Interns, residents, nurses, patients, janitors, basically anyone who seems to have some kind of clue about what they are about to do next in their day because we generally don't have any idea.

My Attending is well aware of the fact that I follow him everywhere. My attending is also a marathon runner. So yesterday we had to go from the first floor to third floor for some reason (again, I often have no idea what is going on) so being impatient my attending decided to take the stairs. No problem. I can handle that. It's just a few flights of stairs. As we start jogging up the stairs (again, he is a marathoner) I begin to get a little winded. No problem. 3rd floor is within sight. We finally get to the 3rd floor, but he passes it and continues to jog. "Okay," I think to myself, "I never know anything anyways so we are probably going to see a patient somewhere on 4th." We don't stop on 4th, or 5th, or 6th. At this point I feel as though I am literally about to die (luckily I'm with a doctor) and am all but gasping for breath as my attending makes it to the roof level and triumphantly states, "Yeah! Okay! That was fun! You want to do it again? Going down is even harder cause your legs are like jello!"

Have you ever been the only winded person in a group of people after moderate or mild exercise? You know how hard it is to pretend you aren't winded? On the one hand your muscles and vital organs are screaming for oxygen and begging you to gulp down as much air as possible, and on the other hand the social situation demands that you risk passing out in order to avoid the embarrassment of being out of shape. So you just stand there and talk in slow bursts and try to breath through your nose only. Well, I couldn't pull that off. I was gasping like a newborn. His reply, "What's wrong with you? I'm like 30 years older than you."

So I'm preparing for my evaluation to say, "Well, he's okay in surgery but he's out of shape and a little fat." Yeah, that's going to look good on the dean's letter.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Belly Buttons

Perhaps some of you out there are familiar with the term "pimping" as it relates to medical students? For those who are unfamiliar, it is not what you think it is. Basically, whenever one of us students is asked some medically related question by one of our attending physicians we say we are getting "pimped." Why do we say this? I have no idea. I've yet to make the connection. I have accepted the terminology, however, and it has become a part of my vocabulary. 

One of my Attendings is addicted to pimping (in the sense described above), especially during surgical procedures. So, being the studious guy that I am, I decided to study up on some anatomy before going into an umbilical hernia repair. As we began the procedure I was expecting lots of very difficult questions to start flying at me. In the past I have received such jewels as "What oncogene is responsible for MEN type 2a?" and "Tell me every cause of hypercalcemia." As I brace myself to recite all the layers of muscle in the abdomen he says the following:

Attending: "Are you ready for your first question?"
Me: "Yes, Sir."
Attending: "Tell me every name you know for the belly button."
Me: "Um..."
Attending: (pointing at scrub nurse) "Don't help him! I want him to think!"
Me: "Navel? Umbilicus?"
Attending: "That's all you know? What about Bebo?"

Bebo? So much for studying. I give up.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

General Surgery - Day 1

Well, to be quite honest, I am starting this blog already half way through my 3rd year of medical school. I'm done with my Medicine, OB and Psych rotations. I never really felt compelled to tell anyone anything about what's been happening to me in medical school until I started surgery. Now, not unlike the surgeons I am working with, I feel that I am the center of the world and everyone needs to know what is happening to me. So here was my orientation to the hospital I am doing surgery at:

Me and fellow student: "Hello, we are here for the surgery rotation."
Surgeon: "Have you had an orientation yet?"
Us: "No."
Surgeon: "Well, basically this is what you need to know: (pointing at me) You suck, (pointing at fellow student) and you suck."
Us: "Yes, thank you."

So hopefully this thing works out. Now, off to 30 hour call!

So Here's My Plan

I've never really had a blog before. My original idea was to give a "twitter" like update at the end of each day to kind of chronicle my journey through medical school. I now think that will probably not happen. Instead I will probably just do whatever I want. So brace yourself world!