Friday, December 26, 2008

You can sit here if you want to

Special thanks to Laurie Edwards over at Chronic Dose for including my post in herGrand Rounds.  She even gave me "the best of the best of" nod with the asterisk award.  Go check out what she is offering over there.  

I apologize for failing to produce a blog the past few days.  I know, it says "the week" yet I didn't live up to the hype like Dan O'Brien circa the 1992 Summer Olympics.  I will have you know I will be repeating my failure next week as I will be down on the beaches of Mexico, taking in the sun and enjoying the Chiclets.  Nothing more gratifying than supporting the Mexican economy via my purchase of flats of tiny packages of gum that produces four seconds of flavor and literally disintegrates in your mouth an hour later.  I do my part.

I am somewhat discouraged going back to school after my vacation.  Not because I don't want to be a doctor anymore, but because there is a good chance that the curve I have been relying heavily upon has changed.  Not the good change, but the kind of change where people talk about you behind your back, you become the "bad boy" and rumors about you and felonies spread like wild fire, but enough about my high school years.  You see, there are certain people who I have been relying upon for helping with the curve, and they may make a decision that will no doubt ripple out to me.  Should they decide that they aren't doing well enough in school and no longer want to be a doctor, they may leave school, destroying the better part of the curve.  Better to get out now than to continue to increase their debt load.  They will have six months to find a new career or school before the bounty hunter shows up.  I will be sorry to see that someone has come this far only to find out that it is not for them and with them went some of the bottom half of the class I was relying upon for an extra boost in my score.  But at least it will free up some more room in the auditorium...

Friday, December 12, 2008

That's the signpost up ahead...

It was only a matter of time.  I figured I wouldn't have a fellow student try to make me look bad until rotations, but here I am, 8 months into my medical career and I got my first taste of a gunner attack.  Of course it had to do with my venipuncture technique on the patient simulators (robots).  Called me out because I wiped the patient's arm with a gloved hand instead of using a bare hand and then gloving up.  (I think I got my error right, but I am not sure.  I forgot if I had a gloved hand or not.  I stopped listening to her when I started to throw up a little in my mouth from her comments.  I tried to think back to when I have had my blood drawn and I am pretty sure the phlebotomist was gloved when she disinfected my arm.)  The third-year who was monitoring the session said it was perfect, but of course this little doll had to open her mouth.  She mentioned something about cross contamination.  Apparently she hasn't learned proper med school etiquette.  If the teacher says I got it right, I got it right, end of story.  If she were a guy I'd give him a left-cross contamination or just kick him down the stairs.  If there is one thing I know in medical school it is that everyone's center of gravity is severely altered due to the 50-pound back-pack people wear.  That's why I use a duffel bag.  That and it's easy to get away from just in case a fellow classmate goes postal.  I can feel the tension in the room as finals close in so I know it could happen.  People are on the verge of breaking.  I will not inflict physical harm on my classmates though as frustrating as they might be because I am compassionate, caring, understanding, and empathetic, at least that's what I told my interviewers at this school.  (Which is true, unless you are a gunner.)

Back to topic.  I asked a phlebotomist in our class the proper technique and it turns out I was right.  Either way,  I still feel ill and violated from it.  I will not go out of my way to make her look bad.  I will let it pass.  Unless I am lucky enough to have her follow me in the anatomy practical in which case I will move every pin I can for her after I write down my answer.  Give her my "contaminated" version of the test.  I am still amazed by some classmates though.  I guess I should expect it by now.  I swear, gunners would go back to med school after graduation just to make everyone look bad.  I feel like the girls of sex and the city in their dating lives...."Are their any NORMAL people in this school?"  Not to date, but to interact with socially so I do not feel like I am living on the set of One flew over the cuckoos nest (see * below).  Should have asked that in my interviews.  Mea Culpa.  Now that I look back on it, I am sure that some schools hired actors to give the campus tours at my interviews because I now know for a fact that there aren't that many normal people in medical school.  My school should consider doing the same.

*While these comments may seem judgemental, I assure you I am well aware of the more probable idea that I am the freak and they are all normal.........


If this picture means nothing to you, watch the clip below.  It is how I feel stop, the land of shadow and substance, Med School.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Is anyone here a marine biologist?

Back to the grindstone.  Three weeks until the biggest break of the year, but standing in the way of freedom is one test, and four midterms/finals.

So it seems to be commonplace for people to assume that because I am in med school I know everything there is to know about medicine.  It's not their fault, but in case you are reading this, and you still believe that med students are doctors, let me assure you that they are not.  That's why I am in med school.  I know about as much as you do after a full game of Operation.  Ask me anything about musculoskeletal or six weeks of information of cardiopulmonary and I might have some idea of the parts or diseases you are talking about, but ask me anything about reproduction, the brain, skin, and I buckle under the pressure like Miss Teen South Carolina.  Knowing that, I sometimes do not like to admit I am in school in fear of someone asking me a question I know I cannot answer (thus the Seinfeld reference in the title) and me having to face the your-med-school-sucks-stare. So in preparation for the plane rides I took during Thanksgiving, I had some other professions picked out, just in case the flight attendants needed medical assistance.  Sorry but you are better off if I do not touch you.  Just dodging lawsuits.

Leg one of my flight this holiday season:  I am watching Curb Your Enthusiasm on my DVD player, and the guy sitting next to me is watching some sort of porn on his iPod.  No joke.  I was wondering why he was covering the screen with his hands like he caught a leprechaun so naturally I had to make sure the TSA would approve of his viewing choice.  Looked over and caught....well, use your imagination.  Who does that?  What if I had been a child?  Can't it wait until you are off the plane?  Was tempted to lean over and say, "You know, the mile high club only counts if it is with another person."  I had already planned that if we were to converse, that I was going to tell him I was in seminary school.  Just to see.  Funny thing is, he kept looking at MY screen.  Couldn't take his eyes off of it.

Moral of the story:  Curb Your Enthusiasm IS better than porn.  

The return trip can beat porno-flyer.  Just after take-off, dude in front of me turned around and asked, "may I recline my seat, please?"...WHAT???  Who asks that?  If I say no are you going to do it anyways?  Is that lack of 6 degrees going to keep you from dozing off?  Well I am nice, so I said yes.  Who knows, dude could end up being a patient or my attending one day.  Gotta watch my back and karma levels.  I appreciated the gesture though.  Would have made sure he made it off the plane if it went down.  He goes before women and children.  World needs more of those types of people.  Usually right when I am reaching for my Cosmo, and the $15 bottle of water that I bought past the security checkpoint, the joker in front of me reclines their seat.  I get plastic to the skull followed by a face full of SARS-laden magazines.  While I was asleep one time in an airliner, I had a dream I ran into a tree.  Woke up to find my head sandwiched between the tray that I was using for a pillow and the seat in front of me.  That's why I never recline my seat in an airplane.  Don't need to get sued 'cuz I crushed someone's head.  Just dodging lawsuits.