Thursday, January 04, 2007


Why is it that attendings no longer feel pain? We rounded for three hours this morning, and the med students are all griping about back pain and hunger. Our attending is totally impervious to such lowly physical needs, and only broke at noon for a conference, giving us an excessively long two hour break (which means we may not finish rounding until 6 pm or some such). I have a few theories as to why attendings are so stalwart:

  1. Attendings have been standing on hard floors for so many years, they've killed all the nerve endings in their feet and back. I shall prove this with research, and call it "Attending Polyneuropathy."
  2. Attendings are so passionate about their patients and medicine that they are able to ignore the pain in their feet and the growling of their stomach. If this is the case, I'm screwed.
  3. Attendings have enough money to buy extraordinarily comfortable shoes that disguise themselves as ordinary fashion.
  4. Attendings don't wear a white coat carrying 20 lbs of books, pens, tuning forks, etc., making them less accessible to gravity than the rest of us. I guess that the more you carry in your head instead of your pockets, the happier your spine is.
  5. Attendings are rarely seen to eat or drink (unless it's coffee), and I've never seen an attending take a bathroom break (well, I did once on surgery, but the guy was 75+ years old). Perhaps they carry discreet battery-powered IV pumps for glucose and saline, and wear Foleys under their expensive clothing.
  6. Perhaps the time difference is the answer. I arrived at 6:30 this morning to start seeing patients; my attending arrived at 9. Perhaps the extra hours of sleep he surely got have given him strength and fortitude to face the lumbar strain; certainly, eating breakfast later than 6 am would give him an advantage in making it until noon to eat.

I could be reading with my 2 hour break, but I'm not, because I hate neuro. I did, however, pick up a great new saying yesterday in lecture: "Time is Brain." You thought it was money, but I'm here to tell you, it's brain.


Jessica said...

There is something funny that I heard from some of my fellow classmates before my general surgery rotation. I have no idea if it is true, but it would explain why the attendings never pee. I heard that surgery attendings wore Depends, or some other adult diaper.

barbie said...

another saying heard today that i liked: "id rather have a bottle infront of me then a frontal lobotomy." neuro is fun!

Jenn said...

I've never heard that about the depends, but it would make a ton of sense...

Jessica said...

But then again, in most of the surgical cases I have seen, the upper level resident does everything, and the attending doesn't scrub in. Maybe it is just those surgeons in the long specialty cases ;)