28 May 2012

Family medicine in the 'burbs

My family medicine rotation is in Baytown, which I'm not terribly enthused about. I show up in the morning, round on the hospital patients in the morning (3 or less), then go to the clinic. Outpatient medicine can be interesting or as boring as you make it out to be.

I've probably had more appreciation in the last week than I have in the last year.

The attending also introduces me as Dr. Dash, which I'm not sure how to take. It always starts off as "Here is my medical student [doing fine..], Dr. Dash [ohgodwhy.jpg], and he'll be asking you a few questions." I don't think I ever want to be called that actually. I'd rather use it in case I need to throw down the hammer.*

What you don't see out there (directly) is death and destruction and that's a nice change of pace. It's nice to not hear that some patient isn't coming to clinic because they threw a large pulmonary embolism and fell face first into a bathtub or developed DIC a week ago and bleed out from every orifice.

I read this piece a few days ago : http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/opinion/sunday/when-doctors-grieve.html

It's true. More importantly, I remember when I was on ICU, where a good 30-40% of my patients died within days of admission, I developed this furrowed browed look whenever I was down about my patients. It could have been interpreted multiple ways.

Are you furrowed because:

1) you realize you could have done more or
2) you're here too late and you don't want to deal with this, or
3) you're actually distressed by this patient dying or
4) some other miscellaneous cause.

Other people on my team had more unambiguous reactions. On top of that, after the "viewing" of the body and before the body would be transported down to the morgue, the family would leave the room, some would shake my hand and say "Thank you, doctor"

First of all, doctor?
Second, thank you? For what, exactly.

Baytown is a nice break.

*: Recall the short coat hammer from a few posts ago. 

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