Monday, February 11, 2008


I read a post where an ER physician “confessed” their likes and dislikes. It received a great deal of feedback, both pro and con, and was a rather powerful post generator amongst several bloggers. Having some time to think while I attend mandatory “Doctoring” lectures left me with a desire to “confess” as well. So, here goes – hopefully it won’t be as negatively viewed by the powers that be…

1) I’m scared. Scared to death to start intern year. I’ve been losing sleep over this, staying up late trying to read on treatments, planning on making flashcards on drug dosages and when to use them, etc. I’ve gone through a few of my reference books trying to find the “golden book” that will house everything I need – and make me a doctor. But I know that one doesn’t exist and it all comes from experience and repetition. But it still doesn’t deter my mind from freaking out about not being able to handle the first day…or week.

2) I’m impressed with how I’ve grown over the last 4 years. I’ve seen slides, talks, and discussions related to certain aspects of medicine that, when I began, were completely foreign and mind blowing that I now understand a great deal. A slide of a surgery was once viewed with complete unfamiliarity that I can now view systematically and understand what’s going on – at least a little. It makes me feel pretty good.

3) I feel a constant guilt about taking my family through medical school. Wife and I fight about things that, normally, wouldn’t cause a great deal of trouble. I get mad quickly about any inference that she’s been betrayed or dragged along in this maddening process – and I lash out. Tax season lends itself to this more often than not – as I want to use the refunds towards future expenses or emergencies, while Wife has ideas of her own. It is, after all, her money. She worked for it, not me, and therefore should be able to use it as she deems fit. I get really upset when stuff like that comes up – I’m working hard too with little more than debt to show for it.

4) I hate the increasing belief that doctors are overpaid and that a great deal of what they do can be done by lower-level providers. Enough said about this topic.

5) Frequently I have fits of jealousy when I look at others. I constantly compare myself to what I don’t have and what I think others have. Living in an apartment, driving a car that looks trashed and lacks a driver’s side door handle, and struggling with mundane financial issues at the age of 30 infuriates me at times.

6) I think nurses are great sometimes and terrible others. When they do their job and understand the gamesmanship between them and the doctors they can rock. Others, either through time, jealousy, or just a bad attitude can be obnoxious and draining – leading to a lot of time spent maneuvering around them. I’ve found that if doctors can’t evaluate or hold a certain level of expectation on the nurses, the worse they are. I hate the fact that they can make life miserable without any fear from the interns/ residents - we are helpless and a bad nurse can really make a rotation godawful. Hopefully there will be less of those and more of the patient, tolerant, and kind nurses.

7) I hate pop culture music – R&B, rap, hip hop, etc. I find it absurd that white people buy a great deal of this music that promotes sexism, racism, and bigotry towards the white population. I find it even more deplorable that the literacy and grammar of the upcoming generation, buying into this cesspool, is becoming increasingly fragmented and acceptable. We pretend like they’ll be OK, using double negatives two or three times in one sentence, while secretly hoping that we’ll be dead before they take power. Our country has lost itself in trying to be PC and allow any form of stupidity to exist.


Mel said...

This was far too thought-provoking.

Anonymous said...

Doctors can be assholes more often than nurses. Medical students are even worse as you take up a lot of time and are more an annoyance than a help. Better be nice to your nurses if you expect to get any sleep while on call kiddo.

MSG said...

I'm sure that the training of nurses is by no way a time sink or annoyance either. Training sucks, but it makes it even harder when people have forgotten what it's like to deal with jerks - either docs or nurses.

Doc's Girl said...


Close your eyes and imagine that you are sleeping soundly in your bed...and that you have to be at work at 5:45am.

Then, imagine that you get paged at 3:45am for something that is completely not a medical emergency and can wait till morning rounds.

Continue to imagine that you go back to bed after calming telling the nurse on the phone to only page if it is an emergency in the future. It's hard to fall asleep but eventually, you drift off.

Now, picture that you get another page at 4:02am from the same person...because they are ticked off that you calmly told them not to page you.

At the end of the day, you are just a pager number. I'm not dogging nurses (future nurse here), but residents get treated like crap no matter how nice they are to staff. Imagine how hard it is to be chipper after the above situation.

MSG - I enjoyed the post. :)

Bostonian in NY said...

Good Post MSG.

Hope you don't get too much flak from the nurses, but it just reinforces where we rank on the totem pole as med students...below housekeeping.

Besides the patients, we're the only ones dumb enough to pay to be in the hospital and we usually get treated as such.

Old MD Girl said...

Anonymous said,

Doctors can be assholes more often than nurses.

Really? Can you quantify this, or is this just a sense you are getting?

Certainly doctors can be assholes too, but MSG is not obliged to provide the alternative perspective every time he says that nurses can sometimes be mean.

All I have to say is: Don't be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution.


Old MD Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Better be nice to your nurses if you expect to get any sleep while on call kiddo.

Threats and blackmail - that's professional.

Mel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mel said...

Better be nice to your nurses if you expect to get any sleep while on call kiddo.

Vindictive, much?

Leave your personal grievances with [insert doctor's name] in the cafeteria. Such a vindictive attitude is not petty, it's harmful in a hospital setting. Professionalism should be more satisfying than the rather dubious knowledge that you may have deprived an exhausted intern of sleep.

I count myself fortunate to have encountered so many sincere, resourceful and tactful nurses during my brief stints as a hospital volunteer during highschool. Unfortunately, far too many of my peers are crippled by their skepticism towards nurses-- skepticism which is not completely without justification, judging by anon comments.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of passive-aggressive nurses out there for some reason. Might be inferiority complex and then anger against interns who one day will be have more seniority.
It is true there are asshole doctors as well - mostly surgeons (sorry for the cliche but you know it's true if you're honest with yourself).

Lenard said...

For my part every person ought to go through it.