The world of medicine is like a bubble. A lot of people THINK they know what goes on there, but unless you're down in the trenches it's unlikely you do. So here is my semi-anonymous blog, here to tell you what really goes on in the life of a medical resident.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


So it's over. I talked to my replacement program director (my program director took very unfortunately-timed vacation this week) after half day yesterday, and they have decided to pull me from the rotation, citing 'medical reasons'. So I'm now home. And happy. And rested. And the annoying cramping I'd been experiencing for the past few days that I attributed to being on my feet for too long has completely stopped. And my feet look like human feet, not Shrek feet. And I even have an appetite again. Life is good.

As for trauma, I'll be making up the time with extra trauma call here. Which is fine with me. Hell, I'll carry the trauma pager for the rest of the freaking year if it means never having to go back to the Centre of the Universe. Which I haven been assured I won't. :-)

Best of all, the trauma rotation from hell is now being reviewed. It seems that after the replacement program director got my e-mail he started asking around, starting with the two new staff hires in the ED who finished our training program last year. It seems my experience was anything but unique. And one emerg doc expressed surprise that I'd even attempt to do it 6 months pregnant. Um... yeah. Clearly I had NO idea what I was getting myself into.

Then, however, I had to tell the people at the COTU that I was leaving. In the first stroke of phenomenal luck that I've had since this awful rotation started, Mr. Old-School-Gruff-Intimidating-Trauma-Surgeon who is usually the postgrad education guy is on vacation this week. So instead, I had to deal with the guy who just happened to be the sweetest, friendliest and most approachable of the 6 trauma surgeons on the service. I had only met him once, but he actually took the time to learn my name (a stark contrast from the other staff trauma surgeons). His exact words to me?

"Couz, the two most important things in life are your health and your family. Right now, you need to think about those two things. Work will always be there. And work should never come before taking care of yourself. So go home and take care of yourself and your baby. Don't worry about anything else."

How sweet (and totally unexpected) is that?

My senior resident was also pretty unfazed, but now that there is a second junior resident that joined our team this week I'm sure she's just relieved that my leaving will be unlikely to disrupt her OR time. No doubt whomever gets stuck with my last two nights of call will be less than thrilled, but I'll be long gone by that time.

Having dealt with the rigid rules and hierarchy that is medical education, I am actually completely blown away by how accommodating everyone has been. Thank God that medicine can actually be human and sympathetic occasionally.

And as of Monday, I'm back in the emergency room. And feeling like the old Dr. Couz. And that's a good thing. I missed me. :-)

P.S. Thanks again to everyone for all their support over the past couple of weeks. Particularly to my blog readers and friends in the COTU who actually offered such things as air conditioned places to sleep and home-cooked meals delivered to the hospital for me. You guys rock. And an extra thank you goes out to my uncle Andy-- until this week, I didn't realize how closely you followed my blog and my life. Although it's been one helluva rough couple of weeks, I feel very loved.


Blogger MedStudentGod (MSG) said...

I'm glad that everything came out well in the end. Trauma surgeons would scare me since I imagine they're as family-unfriendly as a specialty can get. But it sounds like you were fortunate to talk to the exception.

Hope things go well for you throughout the remainder of your pregnancy and afterwards.

4:47 PM

Blogger Liana said...


Big hugs. I've been away the past week and so I missed the dark hours, but big hugs to you anyway and good for you for standing up for yourself.


12:08 PM

Blogger Tiny Shrink said...

Wow, I'm glad you were able to get out of that. It sounds like a trauma rotation I had, which was extremely rough, and I certainly wasn't 6 months pregnant. I'm glad your program director was so understanding, and that you're back in the ER where you're happy.

8:46 PM

Blogger Nikki said...

I'm so happy that it all worked out, and that even the leave-taking wasn't *too* bad. Take care of yourself.

9:30 PM

Blogger Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Glad that everything is working out. My best friend, a nurse, just had her baby and it's a joyous occasion. Looking forward to your "new arrival".

10:27 PM

Blogger Suzie said...

I think I actually know who that nice trauma surgeon was. When I worked with him I thought the same thing about him too. I'm glad you got to deal with him instead of some meanie.

2:04 PM

Blogger Julie said...

I am glad for you. My son is a resident in emergency med. He has experienced absolute disgust with the pompous people above him. Most have no notion of teaching, have no courtesy, and comment on his personal qualities rather than medical things. Can you explain this?

2:36 AM

Blogger Xavier Emmanuelle said...

So glad it turned out okay in the end. Yay for getting back to emerg, and being able to take care of yourself and the bean :)

So, are all the residencies in COTU horrible, or just yours in particular? (Cause COTU is my favorite city in the country and it's currently my first choice for med school, but if the clinical rotations are awful then I should re-think that).

3:06 PM

Anonymous Charms said...

Thank god. I'm really happy this worked out for you.

4:50 PM

Blogger Midwife with a Knife said...

Congrats. I'm glad that everything turned out well. It sounds like things are working out for the best!

Hopefully your program will now seriously look into that rotation!

11:05 AM

Blogger Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Hey doc! I "tagged" ya with a meme where you tell 8 things about yourself. (Don't kill me---I love your blog and am curious...)

12:46 PM

Anonymous discount pharmacy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:12 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home