Corridors of Bugs : Internship - Day One

Internship. Nothing compares to feeling like utter shit after years of study. You're reminded that you have a good 4-5 maybe up to 6-8 years of study left depending on the specialty you wish to pursue. I've completed my rotation in the so called "majors" -Surgery, Medicine and OBGYN. Now, with "minors" of ENT, Ophthalmology etc going on I have some time to breath. Although not for long. I have a shit ton to study and really haven't been seeing much daylight. Yes, I'm perpetually holed up in my room with my books and when I do allow myself the liberty of "free" time, I browse through sites like The Verge to maintain some form of social connection with random people over the internet. I've long decided this would suffice, until I do get accepted into a residency program of my liking I shall remain a hermit. My real world friends? Are in the same boat as I am. Facebook? Ha, what a luxury -to waste time. The only time I do venture outside is while on my way to the wards. And for food. And because I know I need my daily dose of sunshine for 1,25(OH)2- D3.

My residents made it plenty clear that I was among the more fortunate. I was to begin the trial of internship with Medicine. Internal Medicine. To be honest I didn't really feel lucky. First dam day and I was in the E.R. Not less than 5 minutes passed when a female, early twenties was bought in. A case of poisoning. MO determined it was likely phenol, called out to my resident who had just entered and who in turn snapped at me to initiate gastric lavage. My heart raced. This was my first real world experience. We've all read about the management of acute phenol intoxication in the books and yet it seemed my neurons decided to freeze and remain so. I blabbered that I need assistance as it was my first time performing a lavage. Bad mistake. I got a look of extreme disgust from the resident. I rushed the patient to the minor O.T.

2.5 liters of fluid in and the response was better than anticipated. She began to vomit prior to completing the 4th bottle of normal saline in. My resident pops in to check. "Hold the goddam tube up higher, we're letting gravity do most of the job here", he snarled and promptly disappeared only to show up not 5 minutes later, "Christ man, aren't you done?"

"I'm just finishing with the 6th bottle-"

"Can't you see that the patients responding? Doctor?" he asked. Deliberately calling a fellow colleague, "Doctor", in a slow monosyllable is seen as an insult equivalent to stabbing you in the back. Ironic huh? I swallowed my pride and proceeded to finish up with the 6th bottle before completing the lavage with the activated charcoal flush. Some fucking residents think they're gods. Especially the senior residents. What lame assholes.

That night I slept for a good one hour. And perhaps a few minutes here and there. Some of the patients I saw that night were classical text book examples of certain conditions. Others not quite the typical clinical picture. The next morning straight out of the E.R I had to proceed to the ward. Breakfast and washing up? Fuck it. No way I'm gonna be late and let these precious residents hammer me more. Later another resident who saw my sour mood quipped, "You'll be like one of us in no time. Doctor."

Speaking of which I'm out of time. Have to leave it here for now.

Disclaimer: I shall use this platform to rage about certain patients and fellow "doctors" that one often comes across whilst practicing the art of medicine. This of course is a generalization and is intended for the sole purpose of the author's mental satisfaction penning down his experience in day to day modern medicine. If you happen to think I just wrote about you -No I didn't. Doctor.