This morning the ID society had a meeting in a posh club on the top floor of one of the tallest, most elegant buildings in the city, with a view out the window (which stretched the whole length of the room) over the whole city and river, so you could watch the rivers of traffic lights winding across the river of dark water – if you weren’t watching the speaker. I guess this is the “nice” side of medicine – yet another thing I wasn’t conscious of. The club, with dark thick wood panelling, elegant lights, leather furniture, neat and silent attendants all over the place, good breakfast food – on the top of the building. It was a good thing I got there at the same time as the fellow and could follow her around, because I was totally overawed by the place. (Of course, after reading so many English books where the gentlemen always go to their club for lunch or dinner, or to read, or play cards, or meet friends, it felt unreal to actually be in one – if only an American one.)

(This is why I am not looking forward to the evening events before the interviews. I feel much more comfortable in the junky old rooms in the hospitals, than in these posh, luxurious places.)

Our team dynamic is becoming complicated. There’s the fellow, a very sweet lady who takes every opportunity to teach, and treats me almost like a colleague. Then there’s the second-year resident, an immigrant, with very little accent, very sharp and efficient and friendly. And then there is the intern, an immigrant from India. Like many of the other Indian women, she walks around with her head down, not making eye contact, speaking in a whisper, listening with wide eyes to instructions from the fellow or attending. There seem to be two kinds of Indian women doctors: one type is very bold and Westernized, confident, fitting in well with the other residents. And then there’s the other kind, which our intern is: not just shy and timid, but incompetent enough to warrant timidity. She doesn’t show up when the seniors expect her, she doesn’t do the work they expect of her, and she takes much longer to see a consult than I do. It’s bad when the student is more reliable than the intern. So the fellow and resident are trying to push her to take responsibility, and trying to communicate with each other about the problem, without saying out loud or to me the uncollegial things they think of her.

Thus, this morning:
Me: “Those are the four patients I’ve been seeing. Would you like me to see one of these other ones?”
Fellow: “No, I want Fatma to see some.”
Me: “Ok. Those new consults look interesting. Should I start working on one after I see the old patients?”
Fellow: “No, Fatma needs to see the¬†consults. Incidentally, where is Fatma?” It being 45 minutes after the assigned time for being in the hospital. . .
Consequently I have time to sit here and blog. Last year I was on a team like this, and that intern ended up leaving the program. They’re nice girls, but I have no idea how they managed to get into and out of medical school.

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