Ever have the feeling that you can’t do anything right?

That’s what I feel like between these two residents. Can’t present the patients right – always disorder the headings, or miss some important piece of information. Sutured okay on a skin incision, and then tied a huge knot that we couldn’t bury. Knew all the anatomy on the gallbladder, but couldn’t remember any information about compartment syndrome, or fasciitis – hardly cellulitis, for that matter.

These last three weeks I got out of the habit of having somebody pay attention to what I’m doing, and inquire after everything. Now I feel fairly well dissected. The other student does too. I noticed today for the first time that he stutters; it’s worse when he’s under pressure; he was stuttering on every other word today.

On the other hand, I knew about the fungi that infect people on TPN (total parenteral nutrition), when the junior resident didn’t. (Their name is Malassezia furfur, and they look like “spaghetti and meatballs” on a microscope – one of the few solid facts that was weird enough to stick in my head from the microbiology class.)

Okay; off home to memorize renal anatomy, the only subject not covered in more-than-adequate detail in Surgical Recall (highly recommended!), in preparation for an open nephrectomy with the transplant surgeon tomorrow. He’s nice, maybe it won’t be too bad.

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