This is my first year of being a senior resident and it is only January; and yet I have seen all these things happen.
Sadly, this has all led me to the grim realization of why I got such good evals as a medical student: it wasn’t because I was some sort of social genius. (And yes, I really thought I might have been a social genius.) No, it was because I did not do the following things, ALL OF WHICH I HAVE SEEN WITH MY OWN EYES.
Seriously, if you don’t do these things, don’t worry. You will be fine. Your residents will love you.
- Do not claim to be late to rounds because you had a “Cat medical emergency last night.” Unless your cat is dead. But even then…. maybe don’t use the phrase “cat medical emergency”.
- Certainly do not voluntarily (and eagerly!) disclose that your “Cat medical emergency” consisted of “I thought my cat was constipated but he wasn’t.”
- DEFINITELY do not follow that up with “So the vet prescribed him kitty prozac. And I couldn’t sleep because I was so worried about the side-effects of the kitty prozac, so I was late.” Believe you me, I would rather you had just overslept.
- Do not respond to the attending’s hopeful query “So, are you interested in [our specialty]?” with “Eeeeehhhhhh…
- If a 4 month old is mildly tachycardic, do not suggest obtaining orthostatic vitals.
- When a patient is admitted with, say, an asthma exacerbation – and you have happened to read in a past note that they are undergoing long-term therapy for PTSD- it is probably unnecessary and ill-thought out to open with “Hi! I’m a med student! So… it sounds like you were raped? Like, last year I think the chart says? How is that going?”
- If I go through your patient presentation with you twice before rounds, in the most open, non-judgemental of ways, asking you repeatedly ‘Any other questions?’ – it is in the foolishly earnest hope that in front of the attending the words “So.. they were born at 38 weeks… is that preterm? Sorry, haha, I don’t know what preterm is” will NOT come out of your mouth.
- I will point out to you that the healthy teenager with the urine output of “0.3 cc/kg/hr” is likely not saving their urine. This is a gift. I do this to HELP you. I do NOT do this so that you can present the patient to the attending as “Initially, we were worried about kidney failure. After a lot of thinking about it, we discovered that the patient was not saving their urine. Doing this led us to rule-out kidney failure, which we were initially very worried about, as I said.” (WHO IS WE. I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU.)
- Do not demonstrate “Suprapubic tenderness” by helpfully palpating my uterus.
- Seriously, just… hands off your senior resident’s uterus.