The next afternoon Mrs. Buckley’s family signed withdrawal of care forms. Apparently the way those work is that you have to wait 48 hours after the family agrees and two doctors sign, before the patient can be extubated. She died the next morning before any steps were taken.

Friday afternoon the last patient was a pleasant man in his 60s with a headache and blurry vision for a couple of days. On physical exam he had some nystagmus, and homonymous hemianopsia (couldn’t see anything to the left, with either eye; so that he nearly walked into a dresser on his left, which we forgot to warn him about). CT scan showed a decent-sized infarct in the right occipital lobe. It was amazing to see the theoretical neuroanatomy we sweated over back in second year come out really true and useful.

The Match is now five days away. I’m plenty tired of people asking me where I’m going, and having to explain again the whole Match process, and that I won’t know till Thursday. It’s also mind-boggling to contemplate that somebody did hire – will hire – has already hired me to work for them. I hope. (I should explain that when medical students enter rank lists, they effectively sign legal contracts with whichever program is assigned them, just as the programs which participate are legally obliged to hire us. No second thoughts allowed, at least for one year. This is why the Match program was unsuccessfully sued as a monopoly a few years ago; the unsuccessfulness of the suit demonstrates the truth of the objection. . . But it works both ways.)

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