Sunday, July 03, 2005

Poor Guinea Pig

“So why do you keep drinking?”
“They keep opening liquor stores where I hang out”

That was a gem and it didn’t take long. It was only the second patient I saw since returning but I nearly lost my balance. I swear I could hear glass break. I bit my lips to prevent myself from laughing.

Then, another grenade:

“I once ate a battery”
“Why did you do that? Were you trying to commit suicide?”
“No. There were just all these batteries on the floor”

Yes, I know you’re expecting more of the answer but that was it. He stopped talking after that. There were just all these batteries, on the floor

One day after returning from Israel I was asked to take over my team, learn all my new patients and be on call (ie: admit some more). My new interns are just so ‘Internish’. This could not have been me two years ago, no, no, it couldn’t be. The highlight of Saturday was trying to explain to my intern and my annoying third year student how to draw blood. Excruciating as it must have been to the patient who we were punishing for coming to the hospital in July. I was wholly taken back when the patient signed out a few minutes later, poor guinea pig.

Please don’t misunderstand, I have nothing against students, I even like them, a little. But there are a certain few who feel that they should pretend to know more than they do. This is a beneficial quality if it motivates the student in question to do research and to inquire, but it can also have the opposite effect. Specifically, if they finish off your sentences to prove they know the answer.

More often than not, they’re wrong. I understand that they want to impress me with how much they know but it has the opposite effect and just makes them look as if they’re unwilling to listen to a teacher. I have no expectations of third year students except that they remember what I’ve taught them and that they listen. This usually means that I expect them not to know anything, the first time. But that once I’ve taught them then they should know the answer. If you cut me off every time I’m trying to teach then I’ll simply stop teaching.

Overall, my team is pretty descent. I know a little something and my interns know nothing, yet. By the time I’m done with them they’ll know all the wrong things. Like how to pretend you’re working when you’re really not and Rule number 13.

It should be an interesting month.

Now, if you’ll excuse me there are these things all over the floor, what do you call them? Oh yeah, sharp razors…