Slow day today. It’s good to have the team back together after Thanksgiving. One of our most seriously ill patients is actually recovering, unlike most of the other citizens of our ICU (whose progress, if any, is at a snail’s pace). I keep walking by his room and remarking to his family how happy I am to see him doing better. I’m thinking perhaps that’s not the most professional thing to be saying. I ought perhaps to act as though we were completely confident all along that he would indeed recover.

The problem with being a favorite with the attending is that then when he wants anything done, he turns to you. No matter how many of us are sitting around, when he’s going to round, he looks for me. When there’s a consult to be seen, he pages me. When there’s an interesting subject he wants a presentation on (tomorrow), it’s Alice who gets the job. I think I know what I did to give him a good opinion of me, and it really wasn’t that much. At least the close contact is definitely educational, and allows me to ask perhaps more questions than I would otherwise dare to. But even before he started calling on me for everything, the experience of being one-on-one with the attending (without the buffer of junior residents and chief between myself and the glorified authority figure) has been pretty heady. I’m going to have to keep my mouth strictly shut in order to fit back in to the proper hierarchy.

Anyway, I can’t wait to get back to my own hospital. This month in exile, at a completely different hospital, has been even worse than the month on neurosurgery, as far as being cut off from the rest of my program. I want to be back where, if the hallways are just as confusing, at least they’re my confusing hallways. Although it will be another transition, back to being stuck outside the operating room all the time, after getting used to being in there every day this month.

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