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Yes, What She Said.

April 18, 2013

I was going to talk about Pauline Chen’s latest NYT entry, discussing residents work hours and work loads.  Maybe I still will.  But I read a post on KevinMD that I have to link to here it’s so fabulous:

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2013/04/anesthesiologists-victims-success.html

I am a board certified anesthesiologist.  4 years undergrad, 3 years masters degree, 2 years premed, 4 years med school, 3 years residency, oral and written boards, the whole ball of wax.  This is what I did today:  talked to and consented 4 patients for what we call MAC anesthetics, basically sedation.  Pushed the stretchers into the OR, hooked up the monitors to the patient (standard monitors, nothing fancy), gave a little midazolam (nurses give this stuff all the time), pushed “start” on the propofol infuser (used in ICUs every day), and sat there, staring at the monitors or the walls waiting for the surgeon to get done.  All patients healthy, all patients stable.  Highly trained, expensive, and bored to the roots of my soul. This is not what I trained for.  My presence is not necessary for this sort of thing.  My AVAILABILITY is necessary.  Dr. Sibert is right.

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From → Health Insurance

2 Comments
  1. Fred Dawes permalink

    Any advice for a first-year medical student?

    • Someone gave me great advice when I was a student (that I didn’t follow): Look around at what people do on a daily basis. Choose a specialty that involves things you will love to do even when doing them over and over. For some people every patient is different and every case is different. For others every case is the same. Those who find the differences in every case will be more engaged over time. As for medicine, certain fields are not as vulnerable to the incursion of mid-levels. Surgery, for example. Surgeons have specialized skills that are not likely to be replaced any time soon.

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