Despite all the napping and procrastination yesterday, I
really hoped was totally confident I’d managed to do a decent job preparing for rounds this morning. This feverish hope utter confidence, combined with just coming off a rotation with, like, the Nicest Most Confidence-Buildingest Attending Ever had me feeling all……..
Then, rounds actually started. And I realized, after weeks of working solely with Dr. SuperNice, I had totally forgotten about pimping, and apparently, almost all of what I learned in the last three years of medical school.
There I was standing in the middle of the ward, surrounded by staring, erstwhile peers, and Dr. LessNiceAndMoreScary while I struggled desperately to retrieve some arcane rule about hypercapnia and something about 10’s. Some information I’d surely had down pat at some point, but had since carelessly tossed into an abandoned synapse like an empty can of Busch light or an unwanted puppy out of a car window onto the side of a dirt road while blissfully road-tripping my way through fourth year (not that I would ever do that, I mean litter, or throw a puppy, or not want a puppy).
I quickly devolved into…….
This was rewarded with “Even an obstetrician needs to know that.”
I hate being pimped. Actually, I hate not knowing the answer to Absolutely Everything, when I get pimped. I had forgotten how much.
Flash back to last year. Small group and I’m up. At the white board furiously scribbling. And the group leader, a deceptively Santa-resembling retired MD, pipes up to ask a question. I stop scribbling to hem and haw, standing in front of the class doing the med student’s version of the pee pee dance. I tentatively venture an answer, am completely wrong, and my shoulders slump in defeat.
“Yeesh,” says Dr. NotSaintNick, “if you’re that sensitive, I hope you’re not going into surgery.”
Okay. Maybe I am a little sensitive. I’m working on it alright.
The point is, I remembered some very Important Things today.
- There is lots of pimping in medical school. There is going to be even more in residency. Get used to it.
- Just like crying in baseball, there is no place for sensitivity in medicine. (Wait, that doesn’t sound right.) Doctors are very sensitive towards patients, just not each other. (Wait, no, that’s not right either.) Medical students and residents can’t be sensitive. When they get pimped. They just need to buck up and learn and…..(Good grief….Ahem.) You will get pimped (a lot) in medical school and residency, don’t take it personally and try to learn something from it. (Aha!)
- Even though you studied your brains out in medical school, you are not going to remember/know everything. Keep studying.
- Do not get all over-confident as a practitioner. Fear (at least a little), and the persistent knowledge that you do not and will never know everything, is healthy. It will keep you on your toes, keep you studying, and constantly striving to check and double check, to make sure you are making the right decisions in regard to patient care.
Right after the pimping disaster I ran into one of my nurse buddies who was visiting a friend in the hospital. She is one of my favorite people ever. A sort of overly sensitive, perpetually naive, grandmotherly type, who makes me think of homemade chicken noodle soup, hot cocoa (with mini marshmallows), and cuddly knitted afghans. Patients ask for her by name, and without exception, love her. So do I. As soon as the other stuffy doctor-types were out of eyesight, she told me how proud she was of me and gave me a big hug.
I’d forgotten how awesome her hugs are.
Like warm sun shining on your face on a cold, snowy day.
My bruised ego balmed, I walked away, from a part of my (more sensitively acceptable) nursing past, towards the group of white coats huddling up around another chart, my future.
And now, I’m going to keep studying, and try to remember.
*Note: As an added bonus, today I also re-discovered Natalie Dee and her awesome comics, which I had completely forgotten about.