When I was a medical student and there was a VIP patient, I and the rest of the medical students were carefully herded away. If it was in surgery, we weren’t allowed in the room, and only caught glimpses of the patient during group rounds. On medicine, I seem to remember the attending and a senior resident rounding on the patient by themselves, without the rest of the team at all.

Now, a VIP patient means I get reminded by several different people (chief/fellow, attending, nursing supervisor) to pay immediate attention when the patient reaches the ER or the floor, and I had better have every detail of their history and current condition memorized for all the people who are going to ask me about it. I won’t get to touch anything sharp in the OR, but I’d better be there to help set everything up.

In my experience so far, doctors and their relatives are the best behaved (once they’ve decided to let go and let someone else handle it; otherwise, troublesome); nurses are impossible to manage, since they quite frequently refuse to do what you tell them to (basic things, like walk and take deep breaths), and want to do all kinds of things you’d rather they didn’t; CEOs and their relatives are fairly well-behaved, just incredibly stressful.

The worst one was a former CT surgeon, with a temper to match, who had open-heart surgery, and then I got to take the drains out afterwards. Predictably, my method didn’t coincide with his method, and I heard about it. . .

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