Things I Kinda Knew I’d Probably Say At Some Point, But Still Surprised Me When They Came Nonchalantly Out Of My Mouth

“Hey, make sure I don’t go home with the blood in my pocket!”

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 1:02 am  Comments (3)  
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Lessons From a Consult Month: Getting it done.

Nothing in the world like working up another team’s patient while standing in a puddle of his urine.

How do I love thee, urban county hospital? Let me count the ways.

1) Urine puddle.


……isn’t that enough for now? Seriously, dude.

Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 11:59 pm  Comments (2)  
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Lessons from ACLS

I’m studying ACLS this week! (That’s “Advanced Cardiac Life Support”.) Basically, what to do when someone’s heart stops. In a hospital, that’s called a “code”. I believe I will use the following procedure when I am called to run my first real code:

You know, except for that awkward not-really-love-scene-in-a-closet thing.


When performing chest compressions during CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) during a code, you’re supposed to deliver about 100 compressions per minute. (Note: Spelling “resuscitation” correctly took me four tries….)

Major workout.

But, like all workouts, it’s better with music. Because who wants to learn how to count at a rate of 100 beats per minute?


There are two songs that you can use to control the speed of compressions.

One, interestingly, happens to be “Staying Alive”.

The other, ironically, happens to be “Another One Bites The Dust”.

I guarantee you practically every healthcare provider has one of those two songs running through her head as she gives chest compressions. If she doesn’t, her ACLS instructor was likely a zombie. She was lucky to escape ACLS class with her life.

So, now you can sing along the next time you see someone on TV giving CPR! And if they’re doing it at the wrong speed, you’ll know! That way, you can mock them appropriately!

Let’s practice! (Some of these involve spoilers, I think.) Anyway, I give you: A Parade of CPR Absurdity!!!

Note: Guidelines change faster than the epidemiological spread of zombie-ism. So, when some of these were filmed, it’s possible that they were per the guidelines at the time. Some of them.

Added bonus: If you sing out loud, you can make your dog and/or significant other stare at you with an adorable, quizzical look!

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If you use this as if it were real medical information, I’ll start singing “Staying Alive”. I may or may not accompany myself with chest compressions. Regardless, it will not be pretty.

In Other News…

Match lists were due yesterday. I turned mine in. And now I’m waiting with bated breath.

What are you talking about?

Medicine is one of the few professions that still has a kind of apprenticeship period; it’s called “residency.” And how do you get into residency?

In the last year of med school (where I am right now), there’s this fun process called The Match.

In the fall, you turn in an application to a bunch of schools whose program you like. The schools decide which applications they like, and invite those students to interview for their residency program.

Through the winter, you travel around and interview at any program you still want to attend. I myself interviewed at seven programs; some of my classmates looking for more competitive residencies applied to upwards of sixty.

At the end of interview season, each student turns in a “rank list” of the programs they liked, favorite to least favorite.

The programs also make a list of the students they liked, favorite to least favorite.

Then, everyone puts their list into a central computer. The computer puts all the lists into a giant bag, shakes them all up, and figures out the best way to fit students to programs and programs to students. The results are skewed to student preference.

On Match Day, in the middle of March, you get your residency assignment. If you participate in the Match, you’re legally obligated to fill the slot you were assigned.

If you don’t get a spot in the Match, the next day starts The Scramble. Which is exactly what it sounds like. Programs that don’t fill and students who don’t Match engage in a frenzied free-for-all, and you get what you can, no matter where it is or how crappy the program (or student) is.

If I Match, I could move to any one of four cities. If I don’t Match, and I’m lucky enough to get a spot from the Scramble, I could be sent pretty much anywhere in the country.

I really, REALLY don’t want to have to Scramble. So send good vibes my way, okay?

Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm  Comments (7)  
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