(Well, not exactly. There was that morning I spent with the anesthesiology residents, my first year. And today, well….)
After much emailing about times, my group decided that we would just meet at 1 at our preceptor’s office. I had to wake up early anyway to do DIY stuff around the apartment. So finally at 12:30, I got out of there and headed over to the children’s hospital.
12:55 PM — Arrive with my groupmates. Secretary tells us to wait; our preceptor would be right there. We sit, awkwardly, in the child-sized chairs and watch The Jungle Book 2: Now With More Post-Imperialism.
1:15 PM — I notice that the cute kidsy Crayola-colored font on the department sign is incongruent with the pretentiousness of the spelling of OrthopAEdics. I amuse myself by pronouncing it as written. Ortho-pay-dics. Sounds hillbilly.
1:35 PM — Preceptor arrives with his lunch from the falafel cart outside the hospital. We sit, awkwardly, in the adult-sized chairs in his office and introduce ourselves. He makes a phone call to his wife; we glance at the plethora of diplomas (though in ortho, it’s probably diplomae) until he’s done. He then calls a resident to see if there are any cool cases for us.
2:00 PM — Sends us over to the OrthopAEdics library, in another building, to get our textbooks. (Hey, free textbooks!) We finally find the place, get our textbooks and head back to find our preceptor is in office hours.
2:20 PM — He emerges from office hours to curbside an older attending on a problem. And oh, by the way, there are some cool cases, so why don’t we go back to the library to wait for a resident to come get us.
2:45 PM — Back in the library. We flip idly through the books.
3:00 PM — Resident arrives and whisks us away to the ORs.
3:15 PM — We finally acquire scrubs and get to where we are supposed to be. Except the surgeries are already well underway and we stand outside awkwardly for a while, trying to figure out which OR we are supposed to go to.
3:20 PM — Nurse (?) emerges and tells us in a strong Jamaican accent that her OR is doing a knee replacement and we’d have to ask the attending’s permission to observe.
3:22 PM — Attending emerges and begins screaming at us for not coming at 7 AM, when “everyone would have welcomed you” because now the operation is almost over and they are ready to close.
3:25 PM — Attending leaves. Demoralized, we look at each other over the unbreathable scrub masks and try to come up with reasons to go home.
3:30 PM — We go home.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The most worthless day I’ve ever spent in medical school (except maybe those two diabetes lectures). And I didn’t actually get to go into the OR, either.
It’s going to be a long two weeks.