January 21, 2010

Grab Your Ankles

In the tradition of higher learning.

So imagine you landed the lead role in your high school play. Yippee, right? But now envision giving your lines on opening night without much practice, and as you make mistakes in front of everyone you get called out by your director. Oh, I forgot to mention that in this exercise of imagination, each goof-up puts someone's life in danger.

That's what it's like to be a resident learning procedures. I got a nice verbal equivalent of a paddling in the OR today. I know the Socratic method is "see one, do one, teach one," but how about 'see many, get hand-held through a few, and then do one'?

When I'm told that I am not good at something, and it's because I'm either inherently incapable of the task or that I'm a screw-up it's really hard not to cry. But that's the last thing I'm allowed to do. Plus, it makes all female doctors look bad.

I was feeling pretty down when I grabbed my lunch. Across from me was a surgical resident and as soon as he finished his sandwich an attending physician came in and started pimping* him. He didn't have the correct answer and the same thing happened. The poor guy was told, in front of everyone, that he really needed to wake up and start learning.

Frankly, there's not a seat soft enough for our bottoms today.

*This is the actual terminology for blasting your inferior medical resident/student with questions on the spot.

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