Apr 17, 2012

Meanwhile, in hemelandia

I don't even watch Portlandia much, but I really like adding "ia" onto everything. And putting a bird on it (Okay, I watch Portlandia a little).

Anyhoo: Dear Clinicians, we do actually read your notes. And you are hilarious. "The patient is obese, and extra personnel will be needed in the OR to deal with the obesity of the patient, who I may have mentioned, is obese."

Also, all notes begin "The patient is a pleasant blah blah blah. And all the referrals begin with "Thank you Dr. ScaryName for referring your patient, who is a pleasant blah blah blah". Sometimes, they're "very pleasant". Which of course, is meaningless to us, and after reading thirty notes that begin that way, is either a complete lie, or we have the most pleasant group of in-pain people ever. "The patient, Ms. Jones, is a demanding chore of a woman who has threatened to sue me five times. By referring her to me, I can only guess I have grievously wronged you in some way, and for that, I do apologize."

I know as a medical student, I got some unpleasants. One wanted to be her doctor, which is a story for later and helped me run screaming into my field just in case she ever found me. "My patient, Ms. Really?, said she threatened to slap a nun. I feel no further history is needed."

That's not really heme though. That's everything, including autopsy, though in the latter they tend to add, "In this unfortunate case", which is weird because no death note is going to begin with "Well obviously..." The unfortunate part seems implied.

Heme. Things are difficult. Good difficult, but difficult. I'm starting to absorb the immunostains, which is extremely important in heme. CD20 and CD3 in particular are becoming my bestest friends.

My attending freaks me out a little bit, so I'm just as pleasant (see what I did there) as possible while remaining self deprecating enough to not be aggressively pimped. For instance...

Attending to other resident: Go slowly through this; Ishie won't mind. She's very patient.

Me: It's one of exceedingly few virtues, sir.

Fellow: (chokes)

An interesting thing... I'm either "The Quiet One" (go figure) or "The Extremely Inappropriate One". The former is usually to avoid the latter when I'm around people that I'm not sure will appreciate it, which to be fair, is most people. This occurred in my surgery rotation, which is the only way I made it through the rotation alive. This confused a friend of mine, because the secretary specifically referred to me as the Quiet One, which sparked "Wha??"

The fellow seems to be around me enough to know I'm secretly a horrible person. He hasn't told anyone at this point, so I think we're cool.

Other heme stuff... we work much closer with clinicians, which is cool in a sense, but sucks in a sense, because it means we have to talk directly with people who talk to our patients and they say stuff like "Awww, that's a shame. This kid's so sweet and is such a fighter", and that personal touch is honestly really deflating. Not in a "grave detriment to my work" way by any means, and I do like giving good news on any front, but surgical pathology is quite hands off when people aren't hounding you for frozen sections, and you can be like "Oooh, weird melanoma!", whereas when you see someone's repeat-after-chemo bone marrow packed with Unspeakable Evil and you have to immediately call the clinician, who at times comes down and looks through the scope with you, there's no real excitement to it. "These stain really weird!!!" just doesn't cut it. The heme/onc people are great though. I suppose you'd have to be.

In other news, my mom's coming down to visit for her birthday, so I get to show off Charleston in a hopefully non-murdery, good food sort of way, which contrasts sharply to her last visit which was to a Motel 6 in the hood where someone immediately got killed outside the freeway exit the night we'd gone to a Denny's for dinner. I seem to attract trouble.

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