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!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

High Class Problems and a Thousand Dollar Sandwich

Strange things happen: Got back Part Two of the licensing exams, and it would appear that I had one, singular eight hour stretch this past August where my operating IQ was substantially above its norm. (And then went back down to gutter level). Ten hours after the scores came back, my phone started ringing, and some of the residencies I'd applied to "just as a joke, to see if they really do read the applications," were calling to set up interviews. Bizzarro world does in fact exist.

All this has caused a good but stress inducing change in my world view. Where I'd been all set to hunker down at the first residency near a beach that appeared to want me, now I've got options to consider. But Ivy League or no, the beach is hard to let go...

This is a high class problem. I could just as easily be gearing up for a costly and alopecia inducing retake of Part II. So, what I'll probably do is get in my beater-mobile, check these places out, eat their free lunches, and then make some decisions. What I'm telling myself is, pick the place that is the best combination of good education and happy residents. What might happen on rank day is I give in, either to the temptation of going to a big name place that will make me miserable, or to the most laid back gig I can find. But hopefully, there IS a happy medium.

As for thousand dollar sandwiches...took the "Practical Exam" part of the licensing gauntlet today. Due to the confidentiality agreement we all had to sign, all I can tell you about the exam is that the lunch was decent...turkey club rollup sandwiches and, the bonus, canollies for dessert. Even just halfway through the day most of us were at the point of adrenaline fuelled giddiness, so when someone blurted out "best thousand dollar sandwich I ever had", we all started laughing hysterically.

No, it's not that funny, but neither is shelling out a grand for a test with a 97% pass rate. Can anybody say "Why Botha?" Let's just hope there's no reversal of fortune on my IQ upswing that puts me in the bummer 3%...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Humorous Aside

Not much time to post, but had to get this up there:

I'm sitting in our sweatshop of a student lounge yesterday morning, chilling and doing chartwork, when this friend of mine starts stressing about one of our attendings who kind of mumbles, and how my friend might consequently have given one of his patients an inappropriate script.

Apparently, this woman came in with sinus congestion. My friend saw her and then presented the case to the attending in question. This guy is an old school dude we all happen to love despite his tendency to sometimes speak inaudibly. After my friend presented the case, the attending told him to write for a decongestant called Mucinex. At least, with the benefit of hindsight, that's what we think happened...

My friend happens not to be a morning person, and gave the poor woman a script for Metamucil, to be taken three tims a day. By the time he mentioned to the rest of us in the lounge how it didn't seem quite right for blocked sinuses, the attending had co-signed the prescription and the poor lady was long gone.

Hopefully she's not still going...