I don’t know what happened overnight, but this morning everybody was quite happy. All my unreasonable patients professed themselves quite comfortable and ready to go home. Some of the others inquired with concern about how much I work. It’s funny to see the lights go off in people’s heads, after they’ve spent three or four days in the hospital, and had me wake them up before 5am, and check on them at 6pm and in between, every day, and they suddenly realize exactly how many hours a day that is. If it makes them any happier about being woken up at 4:30 in the morning, it’s all to the good.

All of my attendings seem to have recovered from Christmas, and have gigantic OR schedules for the next while. Busy enough to keep me quite occupied, but sadly just unbusy enough that I won’t get to do any surgery. I’m telling myself that as long as the seniors can still find anything to tell me to do that I didn’t think of for myself, I still have a lot to learn.

My medicine and neurology friends are looking forward to working in outpatient offices next year, and having pleasant hours. And all I can think about is getting to work even harder than I am now.

The attending was regaling us today with stories of his residency, which I quite believe, considering the malignant behemoth of a program that he trained at. He told about several times when he came to work one day, and didn’t leave the hospital till five or six days later, or times when he was suddenly promoted from intern on a busy service to sole resident on the service due to illness among the seniors, or times when the hospital was so busy that he had to drag attendings into a patient’s room to demonstrate that they needed emergent surgery, or times when he fell asleep in the OR. (Very comforting to know that this attending ever fell asleep; although he had much more of an excuse than we do nowadays.) He wasn’t telling these stories to belittle us, but just enjoying the memory of some legendary surgeons he worked for.

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