This has to be the worst day of this entire year; even worse than outpatient psychiatry. I’m supposed to be in the ultrasound clinic. A combination of actually wanting to learn about reading ultrasounds, and not wanting to be caught skipping a required activity made me show up, and will make me go back after lunch. But I’m not learning anything. The work is all done by the techs, who are kindly letting me stand in the corner and watch them skillfully manipulate all the buttons and controls in order to measure the baby’s bones, or the amount of amniotic fluid. They step out to get the doctor to sign the paper, and that’s it. The doctors are all busily pushing paper, and anyhow they’re attendings, so I don’t feel the slightest invitation to ask them anything. I have a textbook with me, so the day’s not completely wasted, but boy that minute hand is moving slowly!

And, to make it even worse, I’ve been being bored, not since office hours began at 8:30, but since 4:30, when I arrived to discover that we only have three patients postpartum, to be cared for by four medical students and three interns. . .  To top it all off, four patients all arrived in triage right before the night team left, so I had to leave my colleagues upstairs to enjoy the inevitable delivery of at least three babies today, in order to come downstairs to stand in dark rooms watching flickering lights. . . At least I’ll get so much studying done, I won’t have to do any tonight!