Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Recap

So at the end of internal medicine, I must say I had a much, much happier month this time around. There were some frustrating moments, and occasionally members of my team drove me crazy, but for the most part it wasn't bad. I feel like if I had to do this for a living, I could. I might not be too happy all the time, but I could probably do it.

Here's a little review of the high points of the rotation:

  1. My resident, a third year who will soon be going off for fellowship in heme/onc, was super-obsessed with people coding. I had a patient having a massive asthma attack, and when we rounded on her, she wheezed for us. She was on only 2 liters of oxygen, her sats were fine, we had her on nebs... in other words, she was uncomfortable, but stable, and we were doing everything we could (in addition to treating the influenza A which was most likely causing her asthma attack).
    My resident went in to talk to her, and without introduction asked "If you were to stop breathing, do you want us to put a tube down your throat?" It's a good thing I've had 3 years of medical education under my belt, or I would have had no idea what he was talking about. This poor woman, not highly educated, didn't have a clue. She stuttered "no", and he left the room. She then turned to me and said "I'm gonna stop breathin'??" She was totally panicked, which was going a long way to help her breathing, let me tell you. I did my best to smooth the situation over.
  2. We had a deal with our attending. For all the super-ridiculous pimp questions, the bet was that if he got more right, he'd take us out to eat, but if we won, we'd take him out. It didn't make much sense to me, either. My attending took us to eat at a buffet-style Indian restaurant to celebrate his winning the "Who's smarter?" contest. And picked up the tab. I ate so much curry, I almost couldn't work during my last call night--I was practically waddling. Damn, I love curry.
  3. To celebrate our last call night, the ER set up a special President's Day surprise. We had zero admissions during the day, and then all the admissions happened from 5 pm until around 4 am! Special, huh?
  4. Hours spent waiting for my attending: approximately 15.
  5. Grade all 4 students got: Honors.
  6. My attending said we were the best team he's had in three or four years. Thanks?
  7. A random resident, on hematology consult, starting pimping me when I went to see my patient. Not only that, the things he pimped me on weren't entirely correct. He then told me "all of my students but 2 have decided to do medicine after rotating with me." Hmm. Would I have to work with you? Yes? Then no.

All in all, not a bad month. Sure, I haven't been off two days in a row since January, the weekend between neuro and medicine; sure, I had to sleep in the hospital every 4 days (at least I usually got some sleep!), but it wasn't so bad.

My resolve to do urology is the same, despite the month. I think a lot of internal medicine docs feel that people who super-specialize are kind of "selling-out", that we should all forge into the depths of primary care, with long hours and lower pay. They also tend to think that people don't do internal medicine because of the money.

I must say, the money never really occurred to me. Maybe it's because I grew up without a whole lot of it, but I kind of feel like, no matter what field I go into in medicine, I'll have plenty of money to have a house, eat, and pretty much do what I need to do. In other words, I don't see a whole lot of difference between making $95,000 as a pediatrician and $250,000 as an ob/gyn. Obviously, there is a difference, but I'll be able to take care of myself and my family at either level.

It's just funny. I guess it's the whole "hazing" mentality--I went through it, so you will too. If I work long-ass hours, and don't have much of a family life, then neither should you.

It's the thing I hate most about medicine, actually.


Addendum: After a comment posted earlier, I must add that a close second for "thing I hate most about medicine" is sputum. I have a sputum-phobia, if you will. Ugh.

4 comments:

The Peanut Gallery said...

"It's just funny. I guess it's the whole "hazing" mentality--I went through it, so you will too. If I work long-ass hours, and don't have much of a family life, then neither should you.

It's the thing I hate most about medicine, actually."


Preach it, sister! There are so many subversive mentalities in medicine that we get exposed to - and they're not healthy.

Midwife with a Knife said...

"They also tend to think that people don't do internal medicine because of the money."

I don't do internal medicine because 9 months of continuity is about all I can take. I also find fighting with diabetics about their blood sugar to depressing to do it day in and day out for the rest of my career. Oh, yeah, and the sputum. Lots of sputum in medicine. I don't like sputum. ;)

word verification: nftweel (what a nf-t-weel [nifty wheel!] that is!) :)

Tiny Surgeon said...

Oh my god, I hate sputum! I had three patients in a row with pneumonia who thoughtfully produced lots of sputum for me when I entered the room, and three different times I almost threw up on my patients.

I will take pee over sputum any day.

Barbie said...

i cant handle pus. i had to leave the room the first time i saw an abscess drained. no derm for me!