So I have been thinking about how long it has been since I posted an entry to this blog. (It really has been a while). I thought back to my experiences over the last few months, things that I could have shared, and almost everyone of them was a painful experience. As I write this, I am sort of smirking, because by pain I’m referring mostly to the typical bullshit one hears about in regards to residency. I didn’t really believe it would happen to me–I thought it was mostly stuff you see on TV–but it happens. At the time, it kind of sucks and sort of feels like a punch to the gut when unprepared, but in hindsight it’s kind of funny.
I was discussing with a co-intern of mine some of the things we learned this year and our mutually agreed upon top lesson learned was how to take abuse. Again, I’m chuckling while I write this, but it really is true. Don’t get me wrong, we did learn A LOT of medicine and number two on the list is how comfortable we all feel taking care of patients on the floor. But, number one is definitely how to take abuse.
In some ways, you have to train at it. Taking abuse that is. And that’s what part of this year is for I guess. There’s always the possibility for getting chewed out. Every day, there are at least 50 things that I do, which could earn me a major chew-out. Not through any irresponsibility, not through any laziness, not for lack of caring, not stupidity but just because. There is so much shit to sift through–all simultaneously–that you’re bound to get caught up on something. Take for example the time I was presenting a newly admitted patient and I quoted some findings from a previous discharge summary dictated by a random attending who was not part of our team. This attending just happened to be sitting within earshot, and screamed at me–interrupting our AM rounds–that the details of my presentation were totally wrong, that all interns are lazy, that I’m lazy, that I didn’t do any work, that I didn’t read his notes, etc. Now, what he was yelling at me for being wrong about was stuff that I took directly out of his notes. Makes no sense right? No sense at all.
So all at the same time, I was dealing with a random chew out, dealing with the embarassment of getting chewed out in front of my team and on top of that, dealing with an attending who was yelling at me for not doing what I actually did do. All of this on total sleep deprivation and you about lose your mind. I remember just standing there trying to make sense of it all, and just saying “yes sir, yes sir, yes sir” (always a safe response) until I figured out what had just happened. Except by the time I realized that I was just nailed for no reason, everything was over. In hindsight, there was nothing that would have been worth doing at that time except for saying “yes sir”. This guy was a complete ass who was having a bad day and had his facts mixed up, which he took out on me. Fair? No. Normal? Kind of.
These days, I take that stuff with a little more grace. I still keep my mouth shut and absorb it but I don’t get flustered and I keep my poker face on. What else can you do? I’ve seen so many different permutations of being treated like shit that I’ve been there, done that for most of my intern-related chew outs these days.
I know that I still know there’s a world of shit out there just waiting for me. But I’m up to it. I think.