Tuesday, July 1, 2008


05:30 am the first wave of new surgical interns hit the beaches, some were immediately hit by scut fire while other rose only to get taken down by a barrage of pimping from senior residents. Those that made it to the trenches hunker down waiting for the attendings while they hope that they don't commit any friendly fire accidents while running the gauntlet from the surgical wards to the OR.

July 1st is the day that all the new interns start and the residents move up in rank. It is generally a good day to not be sick in the hospital. Besides residents, new nursing students, case managers an RNs are also starting so that everyone is learning the ropes. The older folks are extra vigillant as they try to catch errors and keep the teaching hospital running. Choas has its own intertia.

The new interns look so young that it hard to believe that we were that age or even that we once had ironed white coats. Their coats are full of books and stethescopes as opposed to ours that are filled with muliple little pieces of paper and a few partially eaten "snickers". The new interns have the look of terror and excitement in their eyes. Excitement wears off though, terror grows. It won't be long before they are all addicted to coffee and will have learned to sleep standing up and be tempted to drink some have used enteral feeding.

So begins the trial by fire. Some interns will do great, other will fail. It is time to sort them out.

1 comment:

SeaSpray said...

What a great post!

This date must be infamous in doctor's minds. Some other docs have mentioned it too, but I love how you put this together...it really captures the excitement, stress, fear, etc.

***How vividly do you remember your 1st day? How scared were you?

I guess fighter pilots can crash and burn, other jobs can bring injury but doctors..well you can kill someone...even through omission.

I was reading a med student blog last year and she said that between May and July the monkeys run the asylum and she questioned what makes the med student so much more knowledgeable from Friday's graduation to Monday being a doctor who is responsible for patients? That's the gist of it anyway.

So back then...I wasn't sure if I was going to have to go into a teaching hospital for a reconstructive surgery that had been recommended...and so I decided that perhaps winter/spring months would be best and definitely not summer. :)

Now I have to consider that all over again...but at least I have another option and I am most grateful for that. :)