Still nothing medical to write about. I spend my days doing social work and case management. I’ve gotten really good at sitting in patients’ rooms, taking the time to actually sit in a chair (which certainly does lend a more relaxed air to the conversation), and listening to all kinds of details about their lives which are not medically related. This makes me feel like a good person, and hopefully is giving me practice at establishing rapport with people. I haven’t done some of this stuff since medical school.

It makes me feel like a bad surgeon. Why do I not have anything else to do with my time? A surgery resident is doing something wrong if they are not busy. I keep going through my list looking for something to do, and except for the occasional consult (who now gets the complete history and physical, including review of systems, social, and spiritual history – some of which I have been in the habit of omitting when rushed), I have very little to do.

On the other hand, since it seems like every other surgery resident in the hospital loves Obama, there is no shortage of conversations opening with, “You actually like Palin? She’s an idiot. She’s never been outside this country. She likes to ban books. She likes guns. She believes in abstinence-only sex education. She is opposed to abortion at all times. Isn’t that horrible?” And I grin at them and say, “No, that sounds just perfect to me – except for the idiot part and the banning books part, which the media made up.” And we’re off. I think my political and religious convictions have a perverse fascination for my more liberal colleagues, and they can’t stop coming back to check if I still believe this stuff.

(And yes, I give up, all the rabid Obama supporters hating on Palin have convinced me: I’m voting Republican this year. Once I find the absentee ballot registry form. When does another chance like this show up: A Vietnam vet (from the Hanoi Hotel, no less; those guys are some of my biggest heroes), and a gun-toting pro-life soccer mom with five kids. Compared to an America-hating socialist with no clue about policy – and the only policy ideas he does have consist of taking more of my money to give to the unemployed, and nationalizing my job; after he surrenders to the terrorists, and invites Ahmadinejad to the White House.)