A combination of circumstances have so conspired to make me appear unusually intelligent to the cardiology chairman, Dr. B, my most supervising attending for this rotation. Partly it’s him occasionally giving the same lecture twice, once to me and once to the residents, and asking the same questions both times. Partly it’s the female attending, who loves teaching, giving intricate lectures, even though he thinks it isn’t her responsibility. (I find them so educational that I’m going to keep attending, in spite of Dr. B’s semi-disapproval of her teaching things “above our heads.” He thinks I don’t need to read any literature, just textbooks.) And partly it’s the fact that one of the crotchety old family practice attendings I had a year and a half ago had chosen, as attendings tend to do as they get older, a few key topics to emphasize with everyone, over and over: one of his was aortic stenosis.

Besides, I hate people not answering when they’re asked questions. I feel like there’s a vacuum requiring an answer, and if I know the answer, it just pops out, if the person who was really asked hesitates for too long. Answers will also pop out, even if I don’t know that they’re correct; the threshold for that is about two seconds longer than if I’m sure of myself.

So I keep getting the right answers, when the residents don’t know. I don’t think they can like me very much, although we haven’t said much to each other. I know that I’m acting like the ultimate gunner, showing everyone else up, and I can’t seem to stop myself.

Which leads to the quote of the day: after yet another string of correct answers from me, Dr. B exclaimed, “That’s very good, Alice! You ought to be a resident!”

The residents groaned, and I blurted out, “I sort of am going to be a resident, you know.”

But it’s nice to have a little confirmation of that prospect.