OK, I feel a journal-ish entry coming on.
Quick day 2 summary: the student health services group at my former medical school is run by frickin’ idiots (who lost all records of my PPD placements and vaccine titers), my co-residents are all very, very cool, and I think I’m going to have a ton of fun this year. I definitely chose the right field.
Longer diatribe: today, I learned a few things, some cool, some not-so-cool.
First, I learned that a patient that I took care of for a long time (late last year) died earlier this year. He was a young kid from the Dominican Republic, who arrived at our emergency room direct from his flight into Kennedy; he brought papers declaring himself in need of a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, a transplant was not warranted for his condition (a metastatic form of leukemia) — in the most direct analysis, there was no evidence that it would help him at all, so every level of the hospital fought him and his family. When the family ended up raising the cost of the transplant and recruiting a private doctor to perform it, the hospital gave in and allowed use of the facilities and inpatient resources, but the graft did not take, and he died. And while I agree with the entire way that the course played out in his case, his death saddened me tremendously today.
Second, I learned that there are certain bureaucracies that you just cannot beat. Forget Bell Atlantic, Time Warner, or the IRS, the worst by far is my former medical school’s health services department. They lost all records of most of my immunizations and immunity tests, and no matter who I elevated the matter to, the answer was just as nonsensical. This means that my residency clearance will take twice as long, as my new occupational health department embarks on some completely ridiculous testing procedures to “clear” me.
Lastly, I learned that people who go into pediatrics are the kind of people that I want in my life. Everyone — from my chief residents down to my co-interns — is easygoing, understanding, and as concerned about the quality of our lives as he or she is about the quality of our residency. The people who comprise the team with whom I work first are great; I can already tell that the month of July will be made much, much easier by them and their attitude towards work. This makes me very happy.
This week, Slate’s Diary is by Jennifer Walser, an E.R. doctor at some New York hospital; her first entry shows that sometimes, the assumptions that doctors make about patients and their motives are just plain wrong.
After reading Walser’s entry, I went back and looked at all of the diaries that Slate has published. There are some amazing ones in there — three sets that I really enjoyed reading were those of Mary Manhein, a forensic anthropologist, Leslie Carr, a school nurse, and Michael Harrison, a boarding school dean. (Remember that there are five entries to each diary, one per weekday; it’s kinda hard to notice at first.)
Time to go to day 2 of orientation. More later!