The other chief residents here scare me. I keep telling myself they’re looking straight through me only because I’m a student, not because I’ve just disobeyed an order I didn’t hear, or made a horrible mistake, or stepped on their toes, or something. The new chief on the GYN service is like that. He’s almost always scowling at something, except when speaking to the attendings. Even the third year resident doesn’t get much joy from him. This is the one with whom I scrubbed into an ectopic pregnancy removal on night call, and asked to sew up the fascia, and then got chewed out for asking when I didn’t already know how. Which struck me as a catch-22, but now he thinks I’m a dangerous bungler, if he thinks about me at all. The intern from February apparently had already spent a year as a surgeon, so he was good in surgery. The intern this month, although a nice guy, is pretty new to surgery. So if I’m in a room with him, it takes all the attending’s time to teach him what to do; and he needs to know, while I just wish. So this week and a half will be a little more trying. However, I discovered that the chief I was lauding yesterday is now on gyn oncology; so I will be with him for the last two weeks of this clerkship. That’s something to look forward to.

I’m trying to figure out the chiefs. All but that one seem very lazy or burnt out; they resent having to actually do any work besides the complex surgeries they love, and they act supercilious towards the interns. The attendings are friendlier, for goodness’ sake! But then they have even less work to do. I really hope I don’t become this tyrannical and uncaring when I have some seniority. But will I be able to? I can hardly remember what the first year of medical school was like. Maybe chiefs don’t even remember what it was to be an intern. Talk about forgetting your roots.

This morning the students had lecture, then at noon I and the other student on GYN were supposed to go to a “pre-op conference.” We had no idea what that was. The last lecturer went on and on, past noon. But she’s my adviser, and I need to talk to her on Friday about my schedule. I paged myself several times, even made my beeper go off a couple times in a row. Everyone else was very interested in my beeper. But she kept right on lecturing; she knew there was nothing at all important that anyone would ever page a student for. Finally we just walked out. Lo and behold, of course, fifteen minutes later she turns up in the pre-op conference herself. So is she going to be mad at me now? And the conference was just a rapid-fire communication between the chief and the attendings. The students neither contributed nor learned anything. If I had known, I wouldn’t have walked out of lecture. Bother bother bother. . .

There’s a surgery scheduled tomorrow from 10am till 5pm. I’m trying to figure out how to act very enthusiastic, and yet avoid getting sucked into that one. I do not enjoy standing on my feet for hours on end, especially with the prospect of not eating or drinking for seven hours. The poor patient seems to be scheduled for every kind of pelvic procedure known to man: total abdominal hysterectomy, anterior repair, posterior repair, oophorectomy, and a couple others that I forget.

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