I’ve been pretty panic-free about this intern thing until today. Today was when my ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) textbook arrived in the mail from the friendly residency coordinator, so that we’ll have time to study before the class in June. There’s a checklist in the book: “Be able to perform high-quality CPR and use an AED according to 2005 guidelines. . . ”

I wouldn’t really want to call my CPR high-quality. The only time I ever tried, the patient was clearly dead a long time ago, and the other people in the room quickly got tired of my wimpy compressions. The fact that I could feel the patient’s broken ribs grinding together under my hands may have contributed to my lack of forcefulness.

This book has a lot of algorithms.
I’m supposed to be able to remember them all when something happens.
How did I get here?

No more reading, no more sewing, no more cooking. You will find me in a corner in the basement memorizing the ACLS algorithms. (I guess it’s a good thing the weather is so un-springlike these days.)

The ATLS book (Advanced Trauma Life Support) hasn’t even arrived yet. I don’t really want to see how thick it’s going to be. But it should be more fun than ACLS: not just drugs to push, and AED guidelines, but recognizing injuries, and doing emergency procedures.

I’m trying to think of a truthful way not to tell people I meet in my new city that I’m a surgery resident. People get such weird looks on their faces, and the conversation quickly dies off after I admit that. “I’m in medicine. . .” “I work at the hospital. . .” But then the obvious question follows. Just the label, female surgery resident/female surgeon, brings up so many images and implications, which are completely the opposite of who I am. But I don’t want to explain that to every innocent character who asks me what my job is.

Tsk, Alice, you should have stuck with OB. Then you would only have the surgeons looking down their noses at you, instead of the whole civilized world. (Bloody, arrogant surgeons! And feminists if you’re a woman.)

Oh well. This is going to be a very interesting year. Actually it should be really fun: starting from scratch in a new city; new friends, new colleagues, new attendings, a new place to get lost in! Not to mention a really new job. . .