during medicine rounds:

We're discussing a patient in kidney failure with a heart murmur:

Internist: "Yeah, you have to turn up her fluids."

Resident: "But I'll push her into heart failure!"

Internist: "So?"

Resident: "'So?' You don't care?"

Internist: "I'm a cardiologist, and I don't care. That's why the good Lord invented furosemide."

my gaydar is broken:

Hello you guys!

I hope the summer is treating you well, and that you are enjoying plenty of sunshine and outdoor adventures.

I'm adjusting to my new town and my new internship. This oncology-specific internship is completely different from my rotating internship, and the adjustment has been a bit rocky. Also, the fine inhabitants of this town have completely destroyed my gaydar.

I've met a large number of women who look like this:

thanks blogs.presstelegram.com
or this:

thanks www.nigerianlondon.com


You guys, I went to Smith. I understand that gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and biological sex are all best represented and understood as a set of continua.

And yet...this is blowing my mind. Hooray for diversity! Hooray for destroying my preconceived notions of queerness! Learning!

in the ICU:

Alacrity, to criticalist: "Okay, so what are your feelings about-"

Criticalist: "I'm a man. I don't have feelings."

Alacrity: "-so, what are your man-feelings about giving contrast if the patient is azotemic?"

in which i am sassy:

Internist, to my student: [Student], have you considered that wearing those dangly earrings to work might be hazardous to your health?"

Alacrity: "Although that is true, Dr. [Internist], have you considered that commenting on a woman's wardrobe at work might be hazardous to your health?"

ahhh, university life:

You guys, I'm currently working at a university, and that means:

1) About 85-90% of my work conversations include some permutation of the phrase: "But did you read the paper/study that showed (whatever)?"

Usually this is followed by, "No," which is then followed by "I'll send it to you/print it for you."

2) Everyone is very, very impressed if you can quote the authors when you're quoting a study to prove a point. At this point, I'm just excited if I can remember the study.

3) Stuuuuuuudents! Vet students are awesome. But seriously, you guys:

- Someone may care if you appear to be fire-stormingly fascinated with (whatever rotation you're on), but that person is not me. I know that those of you who are gonna be cow vets are probably about as interested in the intimate details of the canine cutaneous mast cell tumor prognostic panel as I am in the intimate details of synching herd ovulation: not much. You don't have to fake it.

- Don't let anyone make you feel small if you don't know the answer to a question. There is so much to know that you cannot possibly know it all. BUT it totally behooves you to look that shit up and recon with the person who was quizzing you when you DO know the answer.

- Sleep is really, really important. Take advantage of all opportunities to sleep. Sleeping is magical.

4) Ultrasounds take at least 45 minutes, sometimes over an hour. Also, everyone looks at you like it's your fault when the sedation wears off or the patient loses patience.

5) Appointments regularly take 6+ hours. I am not even kidding. If you're bringing your pet to a university for a consult, plan for it to be a day's event.

6) The anesthesia department is absolutely not fucking around. Neither is the ICU staff.

7) Some sort of conference, thesis defense, or guest lecture is always happening. I get e-mails about all of them. Sometimes there is food involved.

8) There are six or seven different on-call schedules for various situations that may happen in the night or over a weekend. They are all posted in different places and are varying degrees of accurate.

9) A parade of work-study students and residents wander by the oncology department at regular intervals. They ask for blood and/or urine samples from particular patients who have diseases that are relevant to their research.

10) There is so much hand sanitizer.

internship tips: food friday edition

Hi there everyone!

Today we're gonna talk about a vet school phenomenon with which you may be familiar:


thanks catercow.blogspot.com


Food Friday is a tradition that exists at many vet schools where every Friday, each rotation organizes a potluck lunch of sorts. Everyone is assigned/chooses a dish to bring, and then each service has their own private buffet.

Yesterday at my current place of employment, the oncology service had burrito bowls, cardiology had nachos, radiology had french toast breakfast, and I'm not sure what medicine and surgery were doing.

As delicious as this sounds, it can be problematic:

- Allergies/dietary preferences are challenging. What do you do when that one kid on your rotation is gluten-free and lactose-intolerant? Heeeey rice and beans for the win!

- Interns and vet students (on average) have small to nonexistent salaries. This can make compulsory food-buying every Friday taxing on the wallet, especially if you're buying a particular ingredient that you won't be able to use again.

My favorite kind of Food Friday is the kind where everyone brings whatever they want, if they want to. That way they amount of dollars and time invested is purely voluntary, and no one has to go buy fresh basil and make a pot of quinoa (or whatever) every Friday.

So! Moral of the story: if you're ever in charge of organizing Food Friday, be sure no one feels pressured to participate. Also, don't feel like you have to be in on the plan if you're really not up for it (financially or otherwise). No one can make you make quinoa without your consent!

synonyms, sort of:

Regarding a dog with lymphoma (presumably) localized to the spleen:

Oncologist: "Okay, we're gonna get a splenic aspirate and send it out for flow cytometry with the blood. We just read a paper on how they're looking at markers to identify T-zone lymphoma via flow."

Alacrity: "Yeah - CD45, man! Good stuff!"

Oncologist: "CD45 is the shit! Wait, I probably shouldn't say that in front of the students. CD45 is the feces!"