Thursday, July 30, 2009

Spider bite

It's quite common for people to come to the Emergency Department reporting a spider bite, but most of the time it turns out that they weren't actually bitten by one of our eight-legged friends. (This phenomenon is very interesting to me, and I have a theory about it that I should share in a future post.)

However, tonight our team in the ED had a rare moment of being able to sit down together for a few minutes, and as the newly-minted big bad R2 it was my duty to use the time well to do some teaching for the intern and medical student. So we talked about black widows and brown recluses and the diagnosis and treatment of actual spider bites. And the weird part wasn't the medical information (although some of it is kind of weird), but that I was sitting there, knowing a little bit about the subject and able to share it. Maybe these long hours in the hospital are driving something through my thick, sleep-deprived skull after all.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

$64 word

My iPhone spell checker knows "opisthotonos." I'm impressed.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Getting out early

Today I had a 12-hour shift that ended after... 12 hours! To a resident, this feels like getting the day off.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Phrase of the workday

"Aerosolized vomitus."

That is all.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I'm on Pediatrics this month, seeing a full range of kids from the very sick to the not really sick at all. Lots of diapers, and I've managed not to get peed on. Yet.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Fly fishing

The other day I bought some new underwear. It looked like my current favorite model in the packaging, and I was glad to be extending my laundry cycle. (Unlike a 90s-style politician, I will not be revealing what type of undies I wear -- although rest assured that they are both sporty and sexy).

Imagine my surprise, then, when I got home and discovered that they have no flies! I checked the packaging, and not a word about this design update anywhere. What the hell? Is this the new thing? Have I drifted so hopelessly behind the tide of fashion during medical training that I don't even understand underwear anymore? I don't want to get too hung up on this, but when you work a resident's hours convenience is very important.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mass casualty incident

Long time, no post. A week of vacation followed my last post, and now I've started R2 year -- the second year of residency.

I worked an overnight shift last night on the Pediatrics team. When I arrived in the Emergency Department things were pretty chaotic; there had been what we call a mass casualty incident: two light rail trains had collided. As you can imagine the department was pretty backed up, but fortunately no one who presented to our hospital was too badly hurt. One of the trains involved was headed to a Chinese-American neighborhood, so when I got there the halls were full of elderly Chinese people in cervical collars.