I love working as a resident physician, but truly detest taking exams. However, life seems to only give you more of what you fear, so I recently found myself responsible for my residency program’s weekly clinical grand rounds.
Scared and frightened, we came in as interns / We had the knowledge, but we needed direction
Like most times on call, the day had been busy. / I’d been running in circles, my head in a tizzy.
I used to joke that after having my twin girls, my breasts no longer belonged to me. / Forget about possession, let’s talk about existence.
I waited for nine months to meet you. / I know that one night I loved a woman and then you, a blackberry of cells, found your place in her fertile garden and you grew there
“Good morning, I’m Dr. Watt and I’m going to be taking care of you today.”
Two months ago, I woke up one morning at 5:30 a.m., as usual. I played my gym motivation playlist in the shower, ate oatmeal for breakfast, and headed out the door, as usual. I swore at the car that swerved into the lane in front of me without signaling, as usual. An hour later, I pre-rounded on one of my favorite patients, a man with wide, childlike eyes who had a great deal of difficulty expressing his feelings.
I met Julian six months ago. He was the first patient I watched go through a buprenorphine/naloxone induction. My preceptor carefully guided him through a series of deeply personal questions: How old were you when you first started using? What is your drug of choice? Have you ever injected? How much? Have you ever traded sex for drugs? When did you last use?
“Code Blue, lobby bathroom,” the loudspeaker goes off. For a second we all look up from our workroom computer screens. A seasoned resident shrugs his shoulders and we share a knowing look.
twenty-two nights you kept me awake. i counted / them last night, counted them as i lay on my bed with / eyes propped open, trying everything i could to
The hospital is a stage and rounding is the show. It’s a daily performance, a dance of sorts, that takes place each morning on the floors. The performers congregate outside a patient room.
He pulled his chair up to the desk and flipped open his laptop. The young doctor, with thirteen years of pre-collegiate preparatory schooling, four years of college work, and a final four additional years of relevant medical education underneath his belt, attempted to yawn away exhaustion and scrolled through the patient list for the day.