The angry resident. You will meet this person

October 15, 2008 at 8:35 pm (Clinical rotations)

Just look at this census. Many of these patients have been here over 2 weeks. Good lord! This guy has been here for 34 days. Just what is his deal? What’s that? You say that these are burn patients? Well if they’re just going to lie in bed all day and drink Ensure, they can do it at home.

Why do these patients’ families want constant updates? Good God, cut the umbilical cord already! Your 40-year-old daughter can deal with her subarachnoid hemorrhage just fine. If there’s ever a real emergency, I’ll give you a call.

Don’t these patients have anywhere better to go? Just look at the waiting room in the emergency department. Half of them are here just because they want a turkey sandwich and a bus token. They’ve got no real health issues. Maybe if they would go out and get a job, they wouldn’t have to constantly exploit the system. Hey, I see that guy wearing a gold chain. He had better not tell me he doesn’t have insurance.

Why the hell hasn’t the orthopedics resident returned my page yet? I’ve called him twice in the past 10 minutes. The last time I had to get a hold of them, they use some excuse about being in the OR for a trauma case. Don’t give me your mass casualty nonsense. If a busload of schoolchildren just happens to flip over while driving down the highway, there are certainly plenty of other hospitals that people can go to. But there should always be at least one person to answer my page.

There goes the psychiatry resident talking to himself again.

What does this attending think he’s doing, cutting in front of me in the cafeteria line? I’ve got to be at clinic in 15 minutes. And although he supposed to be there, too, he certainly won’t be seeing as many patients as I will. I hope he chokes on his chocolate cake. That was the big slice meant for me.

Why is this med student following so closely behind me? I know it’s his first day as a third-year, but does he really have to be my shadow? I think I’m going to have to run in a zigzag pattern and then duck behind a corner to lose him. Stop asking if “there is anything that you can do” already! I’m not the one who writes your evaluation. But if I did, I would say that you’re creepy and you know nothing about medicine.

Oh look, the nurses on the fifth floor are calling me again. I wonder what they want this time. I wish they would just learn to read my handwriting already and stop asking me stuff like, “What do you mean here?” I mean, give the patient his pain medication and stop pestering me.



  1. DoubleDizzle said,

    Yeah. This is what happens when someone who has worked their whole life to achieve and master something society told him/her was worthwhile is forced to work him/herself to death for below minimum wage and a modicum of gratefulness and respect while their student loans accrew relentlessly. I am not this person, but I would never dare stand in judgement of them. When you a “whole MD” you’ll learn to love this person for their flaws and you will learn to see yourself in them.

  2. famdoc said,

    Amen to the comments from DoubleDizzle. If you don’t find yourself saying some of those things (at least to yourself) by the time you’ve been in this business a while, I say you’re either lying or a saint. And if you don’t believe that (some) patients should seriously be told to cut the crap/suck it up/get a job/be realistic, then I echo the movie line “You can’t handle the truth.”

  3. AFDoc said,

    Funny. I can see that I was like that at times during residency. Jaded would be the best description.
    However, some people go a bit far down this pathway and have “the world is out to get me” mentality.
    Hard to judge them until you go through it though!

    Glad I’m done with residency!!

  4. Alex said,

    Ah, this sounds familiar…sure, a lot of times residents need to tell people to “cut the crap/suck it up/get a job/be realistic” it’s amazing how many have a bad attitude with absolutely everyone. As my mother, who worked in the med field most of her life, says, “There will always be some who think their initials are GOD instead of MD”.

  5. Kenny said,

    Alex should try working for 30hrs in a row in an extremely high stress environment, trying to focus on your patient at hand, 30 other patient’s labs, your pager which goes off every 5-7 minutes, taking calls from the needy clinic patients, and writing 70pages worth of H&P/orders at the same time before judging the GOD MDs. I am so sick of people who feel ENTITLED to benefit my work, effort, knowledge, concentration, expertise, sacrifice, suffering, and debt. Nothing can compare to the mental and physical hell that is 4 years of residency. Ask 10 residents and I guarantee you that at least 8 of them will tell you they regret going into medicine.

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