Right now, this rotation is a very pathetic excuse for a surgery internship. I ought to be coming in to the hospital at 4:30am, rounding on a dozen patients, and stuck managing floor issues while my seniors are in the OR. I have a feeling that’s what’s going to happen next month, when I move on to the service which is responsible for accepting very sick transfers from a lot of neighboring hospitals.

As it is, the new third-year student paged me at 6:30, and it was lucky for him that I was (just barely) already awake. (I must have been such a nuisance to my residents.) But the poor kid was nervous – first day of third year, on a surgery rotation, can’t find the intern, can’t find the chief, can’t find the patient list, can’t find any patients – !! I wish there were some magic code, though, to let me know whether the page is coming from an urgent consult, or from a lost student. So I went in about an hour earlier than I had intended to (that’s how much of a slacker I am right now, I have a spare hour floating around my morning), but somehow still didn’t manage to finish what the chief expected from me by the late hour of rounds, which kind of punctured the good feeling I had from being nice to the students.

The chief quizzed us about hand anatomy today. The fourth-year student is very bright. . . At least now the whole team knows a lot more on the subject, so hopefully we’ll show up better next time we’re in the OR with the attendings.

Tomorrow there are just some minor outpatient procedures. The chief said I could have the last two, and I did my best not to make him reconsider by showing too much surprise or pleasure.

I persuaded the students to go home when the chief did, so now I’m just twiddling my thumbs, waiting for 6 o’clock, and keeping a desultory eye on a few patients who still need to be shepherded out the door.

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