Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Working Too Hard

Shoot me now. I just can't do it. I am now back in the hospital for an infectious diseases (ID) rotation, and it is killing me alive. After 2 1/2 months of easy rotations where I never worked past 10am, I now have to work normal hours (aka, a full day). Since these past few rotations were all some version of radiology, I also never had to deal with patients ... it was just me, the radiologist, and a dark room. So not only do I have to work long hours but I have to see patients too. A shame, because I think I've forgotten most of my history-taking and physical exam skills. Luckily the first few patients assigned to me were all intubated, making things much easier.

Furthermore, this is a consult service ... meaning that we get our patients when other services/specialties consult us (i.e. ask for our assistance). This also means that we do not round on our patients until the afternoon -- as opposed to the morning -- which for some reason is the tradition with consultation services.

As a result I have to get to the hospital at 8am, catch up with my patient, which takes less than an hour, and then entertain myself until early afternoon. At that point we proceed to round for about 3-4 hours. Yes, hours. (Rounds could easily be shortened, but our attending is the type who responds to a question with a 10-minute story.) As 5pm approaches I really do want to shoot myself. It is precisely nonsense such as this -- endless rounding, endless talking -- that turns people away from internal medicine.

Relatedly, this is quite reminiscent of my dreadful Neurology days.

At times like this I really wish I were going into surgery, where rounds are brief and focused. Unfortunately I have to look forward to 3 more years of this.


TaciturnGossamer said...

I feel you on this one: rounding is the worst part of any medicine specialty. It just sucks no matter how you cut it :D.

The MSILF said...

Man, I'm on the ID service technically too now, and it's the same. I'm never out of there at a decent time.