Monday, June 4, 2007

Paying for It

Recently there was a week in which the hospital staff were shown how much their work was appreciated through various means. These included cake and ice cream day, free lunch, day, game day, etc. You know, feel good stuff that mostly consisted of feeding people.

I thought it a good idea since many of the people working in the hospital feel undervalued by the current system and this could boost employee moral. However, what I didn’t anticipate was getting my self-esteem beat-down a couple notches during the week.

One day when I’d forgotten my lunch I decided to take advantage of the free food being served in the cafeteria. I entered the long line of various colored scrubs and talked with some of the nurses with whom I’d worked with in various rotations. As I tried to collect the food being offered the server gave me a rather hesitant look. She then asked, clearly displaying her annoyance:

“You’re a medical student?” (said very slowly and with disdain - try's fun)

Curious as to the reason behind this unnecessary interrogation I answered in the affirmative with a brilliant smile. After all, a smile always works on these types of assholes -right? Almost instantaneously I wished that I had replied differently.

The server proceeded to launch into a full blown rant about the reasons for the appreciation week, the people it catered to, and that, as a medical student, I was not one of those people. With this stunning, newfound, and ridiculous knowledge I was summarily excused from the line and told to purchase my lunch from the cafeteria with all “the rest of the patients and stuff”.

This infuriated me. Not part of the hospital staff? Hmmm. Do I not work here? Do I not pay to take care of patients and other items that other staff members get paid to do? How then am I not considered worthy of your free hamburgers for lunch? Honestly. I want to know.

Truly there was some distaste left in my mouth from that experience. Medical students, apparently, are not considered part of the “team” or “personnel” or even the dental students (as many were receiving their food while clearly displaying their dental school logos on their khaki scrubs) of the hospital. Rather I’m right there with the people I get histories, physicals, and rectal exams on – except I’m paying for the honor without the blanket of insurance to pad the damage.

So I purchased my lunch with borrowed money that I will pay back at a later time with accrued interest. Because, clearly, I don’t need to be appreciated for the work I perform - smirk.

I really feel appreciated now! Thanks!


The Girl said...

I would have been livid!
That is so not fair. >:(

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

That totally stinks. Med students are definitely part of the team and deserve to be teated as such!

Map said...

When I was in medical school, I was scrubbed into a case, holding retractors. The scrub tech was standing in such a way that obscured my view of the field. My resident looked at me and realized that I couldn't see. He then said, "There are only two people in this room paying to be here: the patient and you. Make sure you get your money's worth." I make it a point to tell all my medical students that.

Anonymous said...

Is this really something you should stress over? Doctors get to eat for free ALL THE TIME in the hospital doctors lounge - good stuff, too. Let the nurses have thier annual hamburger or turkey sandwhich for free.
Again - nurses eat for free once a year, doctors eat free daily.
I've never met a nurse who got to eat for free during her training during nursing school either. Take comfort in knowing a high income, free lunches, and all those nice perks (free rounds of golf, basketball tickets, and free pens and post-its) given by the drug reps will soon be coming your way.
So much to complain about in life and you're upset you didn't get a free burger.
Get over it already.