I’m in the hospital today, as the on-call senior resident, but since it’s Labor Day weekend, it’s been pretty quiet thus far. This week, though, has been completely hectic — the job of a senior resident is to walk all the various other members of the team through how to be an inpatient doctor, and this early in the academic year, it’s a very hands-on job. I have four interns on my team, and only one of them has been on the inpatient teams before; the other three have spent all week getting their sea legs, figuring out how to handle taking care of patients (most of whom have a multitude of active issues) while also participating in the day-to-day educational activities of a pediatrics residency. I also have a fourth-year medical student on the team, who essentially is supposed to be able to function at the level of an intern, and three third-year medical students, who are brand-new to the entire clinical medicine thing. It all makes for busy days, from making sure that patients get the care they need to making sure the interns and students get the teaching and help that they need.
Fortunately, we have a few extremely interesting patients in the hospital right now that have kept the curious and intellectual side of my brain in the game as well. On my team, there’s a girl whose kidneys decided to stop working for no apparent reason, a boy with Holt-Oram syndrome, and a young woman who is slowly recovering from Stevens Johnson syndrome. On the other team, there’s a boy who appears to have an incredibly rare bone and fibrous tissue disease, as well as an infant awaiting transplant for his inherited liver disease. When I get home at night, I’m enjoying reading about the diseases, and associating actual patients with the syndromes that I learned about in school. It’s how I learn best.