Sunday, July 23, 2006

End of [County Hospital] Surgery

So I had my last day at the county hospital on Saturday. It was my first call night with no sleep; I promptly came home Saturday morning, ate breakfast, and slept for 23 hours. I missed all the rest of Saturday and woke up this morning. What purpose does taking call serve? I literally fell asleep STANDING UP in the OR at 4 am Saturday when we took our 3rd case of butt pus in for I&D (another was waiting, making the grand tally butt pus 4, med students 0). I'm sure I'll get more used to it, but still--how is it possibly good for patients to have a doctor who is that damn tired? Nurses take shifts, why not doctors? I've never heard any really convincing arguments for 30 hour shifts (unless it's for 30 hours versus a LONGER shift), and I can think of a lot of arguments against it. A lot of places are going to a night float system--I hope it catches on!

One of the saddest things I encountered at the county hospital was the ICU waiting room. Our surgery library was located right inside the ICU, so we passed the ICU family waiting room many times a day. I often went inside to visit ye olde Coke machine (I usually got water, thankyouverymuch). The problem was the people inside the waiting room. These people would eye us as we walked by, chatting or drinking a Coke or generally ignoring them, and the look in their eyes was pitiful. Please tell us something, they'd say. You look like a doctor, you might know something about my loved one, you might be able to perform a miracle and get them out of the ICU alive. I usually tried to avoid eye contact and walk by as quickly as possible.

My finger lost its virginity Friday night. Yessir, I performed my first DRE, Digital Rectal Exam. I'm sure you're all thrilled. I know I was.

In re: butt pus: Don't ever get diabetes. Not only will your feet fall off, you'll get butt pus.

I saw a woman in her 30's in the breast clinic the other day with breast lumps. She had stage 4 cervical cancer, a carcinoid lung cancer, and now breast lumps. I got to tell her the lumps in her breasts were benign fibroadenomas--no problem. I hope that made her day a little happier.

I think it's time to go cook dinner now.

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