Nothing much happening around here. I’m on call this Saturday (and somehow managed to get myself on call next Saturday, too), and of course nothing is happening. I don’t know whether to be happy my team and I might not get slammed as bad as all the other students have been when they were on call, or to be disappointed that I’m missing learning opportunities. If I get disappointed enough, I may become conscientious and go down to the ER to hang out, instead of hiding in the lounge here.

Actually, our team not only takes most of the asthma patients, but apparently most of the complicated patients too – ie bad cystic fibrosis, and really messy congenital anomalies. These are kids who are surviving so far, but with lots of handicaps and mental deficits, and their long-term prognosis isn’t too bright. (When they crash they go to the ICU and we don’t see them.) So the parents I’m interacting with are very nice: very concerned about their children, know more details than we do about their conditions, spending most of the day in the hospital, always there when we come by, and – on the surface at least – coping with their child’s problems amazingly well. I suppose they must have been devastated at the beginning, but now it’s become normal. The really sad part is that a lot of these cases seem to be genetically linked – so now the parents don’t dare have any more kids.

I’ve worked up to writing long, detailed, fairly accurate notes, with some idea of what the plan for each patient is. I’m also doing discharge summaries for most of my patients; I hate this part, but hopefully only because I’m not used to it.

The whole hospital is more cheerful, kind, and friendly than the OB/GYN atmosphere. But I miss surgery. I hope I can find a slightly more benign program than the one at this school, with perhaps a little more kindness/friendship from the attendings and seniors to the junior residents. But either way, I would rather be tired and working on surgery, than tired and falling asleep in a long medicine discussion.

Although I am impressed by how knowledgeable in a wide range of fields the pediatric people are. They handle a lot more complications and organ systems than the medicine residents did; they have a higher threshold for consulting the specialists. I guess that’s because they’re already specialists in the children’s version of everything. So if I liked the idea of medicine, I would do pediatrics; but I don’t like medicine. But this is a nice break from the surgical schedule. Unfortunately, the medical students on the other team here are having a much worse time of it. Their senior resident is “a militant military honcho,” in their words; expects everyone to work 12-hour days; and requires much more presentations from the students than my senior does.

Now I’m going to go study, and see how long this stretch of no ER admissions will last. . .