“Dead or alive? Dead or alive? That’s all that matters!” we would often chant at our anatomy table. It is hard to express this inside joke to anyone who was not there, and especially in writing, without cadence or tone of voice. However, we would often chant this mantra when we were stressed, usually before our weekly oral quizzes. “It didn’t matter if we knew the answer,” we would say coyly, “it only matters if the patient is dead or alive!” Quite frankly, I don’t even remember the origins of this inside joke, but I do recall that it had something to do with making fun of bottom-line, outcomes-focused physicians.
I reflected on this a lot today during the Teeter Totter game, in which we pretended the seesaw was a ward, and we had to enter and leave the ward as a team… Continue reading
Throughout much of my third year of med school, I felt like I was a spectator. I was there to learn, but mostly as an observer. In many of my rotations, we would present and write notes, however it seemed like more of a formality and an exercise, rather than a duty. That all changed midway through the year, when I was on my neurology rotation and I presented a consult to my preceptor. He came up with an assessment and plan, and as he was reviewing the hospitalist’s H&P during his dictation, he picked up on an admission blood pressure that I had missed in my chart review/presentation. He stopped and said, “Oh, this is important. You should have told me this. Now I have to change everything.” Although I was embarrassed, I was also empowered. That was the first… Continue reading