In the hospital for 15 hours today. This is so not going to keep happening for the rest of the month. In emergencies, fine; but this is the way the neurosurgery team operates.

The junior residents think my job is to do all the scut for them, which is enough to last 14 hours in itself. The senior residents are wondering why I’m not in the OR, whether I don’t like surgery. And the critical care attending thinks my job is to go to conferences, listen to him lecture (which is indeed valuable), and read journal articles to present to him. I feel like the donkey owner who was trying to get his son and the donkey to market at the same time. It is impossible to please all of these people.

Tomorrow I’m going to have to put my foot down, and refuse to be overawed by at least one, if not two, of these sets. Both for hierarchy (chief resident always wins) and preference, I think I’m going with the chief’s “surgery intern should be in OR” theory. Critical care is nice, and I’ll have several rotations specially for that. Not this month, though.

Although since all the patients I’m following are in the ICU, I already learned a great deal today. After last month’s 14 patients a day, seeing 6 ICU patients feels manageable; and the nurses are very agreeable to my management strategy of “I’ll tell you as soon as I talk to the senior. . .” Although, amazingly enough, I am also starting to come up with the right ideas before the nurses or residents tell me what to write down. As far as unique neurosurgery issues, I’m completely at sea; but general problems like urine output and tachycardia are starting to feel everyday.