Scutmonkey Chronicles

Commentary on healthcare in general, life as a medical student, and issues of concern thereof. Readers warmly encouraged to contribute their "best" and "worst" experiences with the healthcare system (who knows, some budding young doctor might learn something from your pain...?) Submit via comments section, or email me at if you'd like to become a regular contributor. Welcome, and don't forget to double-glove!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Nerve

This month: Neurology, at Big Name Academic Hospital. So far, so good.

This is my first real elective. Why the hell then, you may be asking, did I pick something hard and not near a beach? Answer: I dig this brain stuff. Enough to think maybe this was a field for me.

Still dig it. Probably not the field for me, though. Nice people, smart people, but epitome of "in the box" thinkers. May as well have kept my engineering gig.

Case in point:
  • Ward team goes to see new patient, sent up to floor from ER with working diagnosis "erratic behavior, etiology unclear, rule out cardiovascular accident" (translation: dude acting strange, make sure dude didn't have stroke.)
  • Attending physician is brilliant clinician with many publications.
  • Team enters room, attending in lead. Patient hisses like angry cat, waves rosary beads, and threatens to piss on attending
  • Patient looks over ward team, consisting of Indian attending, Pakistani fellow, Russian cheif, Jamaican resident, and Mooncheese White student with name of undiscernable ethnicity.
  • Patient reads names aloud and accuses team of being "assasins from the UN".
  • Mooncheese White med student thinks to herself "Perhaps, just maybe, there is a psychiatric component to this gentleman's problems?"
  • Brilliant attending continues to treat as simple stroke. Because That is What is Written on the Chart...

Oh well, it's an interesting gig, not too tough, and my future patients, in whatever specialty I pick, are likely to walk into the office with a brain. Let's hope.