Duck! He has a bat.*

Hospital medicine and outpatient medicine are two very different practices. At SMA, we try to blur those lines and bridge the gap. Who doesn’t want to see their family doctor when they’re the most sick? It is a dying art, and we know it. This week, I’ve been an obstetrician, a rural family practice doctor, a hospital doctor, an attending, and a hospitalist. It was a busy week, and all of my personalities are tired.

I delivered my first post-resident baby. By section. At 10. At night. The mix of fear, loathing, and excitement left me with a serious case of heartburn. She was beautiful, though. And mom and baby did well, despite the complications along the way. You know the feeling you get right before you bungee-jump? I want to go. I don’t want to go. AHHHH! Yeah. It was like that.

It’s the same, isn’t it?! I was just practicing medicine and delivering babies in June. Why all of a sudden is it so different?

In the office, we are busy. We have a full schedule. What. In. The. World?! Most docs fresh out get a break. They get an easing into their schedule. It’s the natural order. People have to find you. They have to fill out paper work. They get put into your schedule. And slowly. Surely. You build a practice. Why didn’t my schedule get the memo? Must’ve been the ad in the sports section!? Maybe it’s the referrals, (keep ‘em coming). I’m not complaining, really. I’m just trying not to drown. I think I needed a few more lessons before deciding to do an open ocean swim.

The hospital service for SLFP was completely reasonable for a new attending. I had an awesome group of slaves, I mean, residents who are perfectly capable. One of the many selling points of SLFP residency is that it does train residents to be doctors not residents. I feel the need to regurgitate the lessons and lectures I have just learned, myself, so few months ago, to the new doctors in training. I find myself, when asked a question, looking around like “Are you talkin’ to me?!”Babyduck

But in all seriousness, instead on the hospitalist service, you almost wish you had a gun that was holstered. You might need it! Some patients arrive armed. It may only be an index finger, thumb, and a paper bag. Or it may be the arm of a chair that has been disassembled and is now a bat for a minor-leaguer. So, duck if they have a bat. Because, after seeing 21 or more patients in 12-13hrs in a 72 and fluorescent environment, maybe it’s better your holster was empty. As 30 seconds to learn a lifetime of past medical that brought the poor soul in front of you is not long enough to know whether you should fight back or just get their coffee. Maybe I won’t be a barista after all.


*Teresa, local CM comedienne.

2 Responses to "Duck! He has a bat.*"

  • You forgot to add “neonatologist” to the many hats of the week! Great job and great article!

    1 Angie said this (August 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm) Reply

  • New on the mandatory reading list during residency:
    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own…”
    –“Oh The Places You’ll Go”, Dr. Seuss

    (except hopefully you’re not really on your own!)

    2 Ed said this (August 24, 2014 at 10:58 am) Reply

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