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I should really change the name to Michelle vs the Scutmonkey

December 8, 2007


I am writing this on my PDA, sitting in my Cardio office. Its 11am + I’ve been up for 6 hrs already. I was just in a super cool aortic + tricuspid valve replacement surgery, but got butted out right before the 2nd valve placement by some valve rep. There absolutely is no room for more than the anesthesiologist plus one extra, so I looked at the clock and figured its only a half hour until the lunch mtg. Not too early to get in trouble for being lazy, not enough time for a nap.

So here I am in the office. My new rotation office. My new Cardio rotation that I love! Shocking, right? Me enjoying Cardio. Even at 5am. That’s when I’ve been getting up this week so that I have time to get a shower, dress, and meet the doc for rounds @ 6:30am. That’s my fault. Last week I was living fat, only doing office hours maybe 9 to 4. But then I had to go and volunteer to go with him to a cardiac cath. He couldn’t remember if it was at 9 or 10, so he thought I should just go ahead and meet him at rounds. I guess I did a good job following him b/c the next day he had me come again and be the vitals gopher. Today I actually wrote a whole SOAP note. He seemed a little disappointed that I didn’t have the scoop on all the patients, so tomorrow I’m thinking of promoting myself to the official Scutmonkey by getting up @ like 4am to do pre-rounds. Just like Katie. Except I don’t have to! What I mean is, its not required, but I was an only child so I need the approval of my superiors. Wait…no…I do it… because… I… care…? YA! That’s the ticket.

And I do think the doc likes me. I have heard warnings from previous students for months now, mainly that he doesn’t like “touchy-feely” types and that if he thinks you are dumb or annoying, he’ll ask you to go home and read. I think I’m doing well b/c this whole time I have not been sent away once to read…he’s sent me away to do scut. There’s a difference. He also remembered me from a lecture of his I attended like 4 months ago. Brownie points for me. Plus ever since I started coming to rounds, he’s been taking me to breakfast after in the physician’s lounge. Based on the warnings, I didn’t think he’d be as sociable. But in these breakfasts and the walks we take to the other hospital down the block, I get to hear great stories about him teaching at the Ghandi Medical School in India, what all his mentors ever taught him on how to be a great doctor, and oh! that one about how last year during the huge snow storm we had here, he fell chest deep into a snow drift at 4am outside the hospital. “I was thinking, everyone said to go to LA, every where else will be too cold, but I don’t listen and die in snowdrift in Denver.” The story is better with the accent.

I feel like I am seriously following around Yoda. My doc is a little Indian guy who wears a light blue white coat and only uses purple pens. He’s in his late 60’s but man, you can hardly keep track of him, let alone keep up w him. Plus he never, EVER, pimps me… So ya, you’re not gonna catch me saying a single word against him.

Most of all, he is a master at what he does. That cardiac cath I said I went to the other day was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in medicine yet. One minute, you can’t see anything on the CT. There is just her old sternal sutures floating, and a mechanical mitral valve fluttering away. The guide blindly creeps up the vein, twisting along the looping pathway until it reaches the area of the heart. I can’t tell b/c u can’t actually see the heart, but I suppose he can tell we’ve in the right general area and feel the resistance. Then he injects the dye and whoosh! All the vessels light up, revealing the outline of the heart. It was surreal. Like the first open heart surgery I ever saw.

I think it was his resident’s first as well b/c neither of us could stop giggling about the bunny suit we had to wear. That’s what they call the sort off white scrubs/jumper they make us wear, plus we got cute little pink and green lead vests and skirts, so it was more like Easter bunny suits. I mean seriously, who came up with these. “Ladies, do you even look like a woman dressed in all that gear? How are you ever going to score your McDreamy hot neurosurgeon wearing shapeless scrubs and lead vests? Go with our lead two-piece vest and skirt in lime, pink, or lavender!” Yeesh.

This was an instance in which the resident & I actually got along. That didn’t use to be the case. She’s a 3rd yr resident with only 6 months left, yet he only difference between her duties and mine is he has her dictate. Hey, I enjoy scutwork b/c I’ve never even been allowed to do that before, but it pisses her off to have to still do it, and she takes it out on me. Like when we were sent to write up a note on a guy in the ICU around 4:30pm. She was bitching about how late we were staying to do paperwork, (normally we’re done at 4pm) and I’m trying not to be obvious of my disdain. I’ve been with him since 6:30, while her usual schedule is some other clinic 8am-noon and doesn’t even come over to his office until 1p. I don’t want to hear it. Instead of pointing this out, I try to expedite things by offering to get started on vitals and lab notes if she wants to read over his history real quick and go talk to him. Before you yell at me for being lazy, which is what she proceeded to do, you must know that he does not read these notes except to maybe get the vitals. He will not take any of your recommendations. So, there is really no point in me taking an hour to retrace his whole life story and every test he’s ever had, just to come up with a detailed action plan he won’t even read. So then here she is, all stressin’ b/c she is trying to do an official cardiology consult, and she won’t let me do anything. Literally, the only thing she will let me do is hit Page Up or Page Down on the computer, except when she tells me to bring up the Xray. I start looking through radiology notes and she yells at me for being lazy again, how I need to bring up the actual image, not just read the report. word for it, okay? So, we’re there like an hour and a half and I am going bonkers b/c I had hoped to see the sun today but thats not going to happen, and I know he is over in the office thinking we’ve fallen in. Suddenly he appears, asks the resident about the EKG, checks on the patient, makes his note, signs the resident’s 2 page note, and we are free. And she is livid. I tried to tell her…

But I’ve figured out how to get on her good side. Not that I have to b/c in no way does she have any say on my evaluation, but hey, my days are long already. I don’t need them feeling any longer with a bitchy resident on my back. Well one day we were talking about the hardships of residency (which is one way to get on her good side, listen to her bitching) and apparently, she is not allowed to use the physician’s lounge to eat, and I’m like “HUH?? …. but… you’re… a… physician! Got the MD and everything. Geez, that is definitely something I’m going to ask in residency interviews now…do you feed your poor poor residents?” The listening-to-her-bitching brownie points somehow got lost in there with her sarcism-laden reply, “If thats important to you.” Sorry if I’m a fatty for wanting to eat once or twice while stuck on a 36hr shift.
Still, the past couple of days I’ve been saving her food from our lunch meetings, and she hasn’t given me shit once since then. Esp not yesterday when I saved her 2 cookies. So I dunno, maybe she just had low blood sugar this whole time.

Speaking of, the lunch meeting is about to start. Mmm, I’ll stay awake in the hypertension lecture for some gourmet tomato soup. I’m a pretty cheap date.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 9, 2007 11:53 am

    1)I love that you’re a cheap date

    2) I smell a rec coming 🙂

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