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.


  1. I always appreciate it when a fellow rotating classmate corrects me privately when we can discuss it in a low pressure setting. I wouldn't want to miss out on ways to improve, but if you're not an attending/resident/intern then there's such a thing as waiting for the right time!

  2. Sounds like medical school is preparing you well for life. This kind of situation will happen again and again as you begin your career, go out into the work place, deal with parents out on the soccer field or other customers in line at the post office. The classroom is a microcosm of the world.
    Nope, not too many normal ones out there. And OFTEN I feel like I don't belong...anywhere.
    Life is long my friend...and this is just the beginning of people in your life who aren't quite as good as you, as confident as you, as happy as you...trying to make you look bad or, actually, trying to make themselves look a little better.
    Honestly, you and I don't have to worry. We ARE the normal ones. But that's abnormal in this world. Just like the pretty girl in the pig-faced world.
    (hat is one of the best Twilight Zones of all time.
    Perspective, right?)

  3. One of the best beatdowns I ever saw was a 3rd year Gunner who scooped a Classmate on his own patient, (back in those pre-computer days, when they actually taped lab results in bulky charts)nothing was said until after rounds when a sound like Rockey Balboa working the heavy bag came from the Call Room. The Gunner's now a rich Radiologist, the Puncher practices Emergency Medicine,

  4. A few thoughts.
    Private correction is okay. If its a public gunner attack, not cool. Get used to it. You're lucky that the gunnerette showed herself so early, better now than while scrubbed in. Keep a list and know who has your back. Have everyone else's back, whether they deserve it or not. You'll get screwed, for sure, but in the end, you'll sleep well-- because for real doctors, it is about the patients, and they don't give a damn about your grades.

    Nice blog, keep it up. I'm amazed you can do this while in med school. (Back in MY day......)