Archive for June, 2012

Caller ID

Do not assume that older ladies who live alone have caller ID.


I don’t know the last name

At the end of your month on a service, one of the two attendings you’ve worked with may not know your last name, as evidenced by a recent dictation stating, under assistant: “the other assistant was (insert name), I do not know the last name. S/he is an intern.”

It is also possible to discover, on the second to last day of your internship, that one of your attendings has continually confused you with another intern for the past year. It is very unlikely s/he will correct it now.

A rising chief resident imparted some good advice, however: it’s a good thing if you can get by with attendings not knowing who you are, it means you didn’t do anything wrong. Apparently, that is impressive.

Medicine will do it if you refuse

When you tell the medical doctors that you are unable to help with a procedure (central access, chest tube) because you are scrubbed in the OR on an emergent case, you find out they are capable of doing it themselves. The question now becomes, why do they almost always call surgery?

Third arm

Every surgeon wishes s/he had a third arm (to operate with).

Useless diagnostic work up

Cardiothoracic surgery is the surgical service that orders the most diagnostic studies that serve the least purpose and do not dictate patient management. And when you do the right thing and don’t order labs, your attending will text you to tell you to order them, every day, for the duration of the patient’s hospital stay.


Medicine doctors consider a fever anything above 38C (100.4F); those of us in surgery use 38.5 (101.5F). It can make for frustrating lab orders when medicine doctors order blood cultures on a patient with a temperature of 38.1 and a normal white blood cell count.

Graduating chiefs

As the end of the year approaches–for all residents, July 1 marks the beginning of a new PGY level–the chief residents get ready to close out their residency and move on to fellowship or practice. While it’s hard to see some go after spending time and getting to intimately know them, we wish the best of luck to all graduating chiefs this year.

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