In the Life of a Fickle Intern

October 8, 2012


Filed under: Daily Lowdown — dailymedicine @ 17:15

We do a lot of procedures in the Emergency Room. From basic suturing (cuts and lacerations) to intubating (putting a tube down someone’s throat to breathe for them) to even delivering babies, we have exposure to a little of everything. As a resident, I love procedures! They make my shifts that much better because they’re interactive, fun, and just satifying. Though I am still learning and developing my own techniques, after 1.5 years in residency, I am pretty comfortable with our bread and butter procedures because we do them so often.

The other day I had two parents request that my attending do the lumbar puncture on their 5 week old child. Though they were nice about it, I was a little peeved. The only reason I picked up that chart was to get to do the procedure. In my head, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and think, “Don’t come to a teaching hospital if you don’t want a resident!” but nonetheless, I was cordial. After my attending failed her attempt and another attending failed his attempt, though I felt bad for the baby, I couldn’t help but gloat internally for a moment at the parents. Chances are, I probably have done a lumbar puncture more recently than either of them because in a teaching institution, residents do all procedures.

This got me to thinking, which I try not to do too often. I always joked that if I got sick, I would never go to a teaching hospital. I wouldn’t want a resident, big-eyed and bushy-tailed, pointing and prodding at me. But after some more thinking, it seems counter initiative. After residency, you probably know everything that you will know. Even if you are an avid reader and stay on top of all the literature, for the rest of the life, you will still be practicing based on everything you learned during these formative years. Additionally, in a teaching facility, there is a wide safety network so chances are, medical errors will be caught. There are a lot of checks and balances in a teaching system.

So after all of this contemplation and googling to see where the majority of health errors occur, I have decided that I will just have to never get sick. That will prevent any problems in the future.

Though in all seriousness, I think teaching hospitals tend to be better for so many reasons. In addition to the ones that I’ve mentioned, teaching hospitals tend to be tertiary care centers with so many more resources, both people and technology wise. Other than delivering my baby, I think I am ok with having a resident be my primary doctor if I ever have to go to the hospital for anything. *Knock on wood.*

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: