"Hey Dr. M! You've been sitting in the same place for a while now. What are you doing?"
"Reading," I replied.
"Reading up," I said.
"Reading up on what?"
"On my patients." I didn't even look away from the computer screen when I said that.
"Like a paper or doing a literature search or what?"
"No. Just background stuff. And literature searches. And more. I don't know what's wrong with a lot of my patients. So I'm reading."
"You heard me."
"You don't know what's wrong?"
"Nope. I like, don't. So I'm reading. So I can."
"But you're an attending. You're supposed to know what's wrong with everyone!"
"Dr. Manning? Dr. Manning!"
"SSSSHHHHHH!!!! Can't you see I'm reading!"
"Oh, okay. Sorry."
Hey students and residents! Newsflash: We DON'T know everything. And guess what? When we get home we grab some dinner, wash the dishes and then read up, too. Just like you. The only difference is that the exam is somebody's mama, somebody's daddy or somebody's child.
Higher stakes, yo.
Alright. Let me get back to reading, okay? I have a test tomorrow.
Honestly? I write this blog to share the human aspects of medicine + teaching + work/life balance with others and myself -- and to honor the public hospital and her patients--but never at the expense of patient privacy or dignity.
Thanks for stopping by! :)
"One writes out of one thing only--one's own experience. Everything depends of how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give."
~ James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)
"Do it for the story." ~ Antoinette Nguyen, MD, MPH
Details, names, time frames, etc. are always changed to protect anonymity. This may or may not be an amalgamation of true,quasi-true, or completely fictional events. But the lessons? They are always real and never, ever fictional. Got that?