ndab Ah Yes, Medical School: Discharge

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Before you get your panties all up in a bunch (excuse me while I dip into my self-deprecating humor grab-bag-o-rama and say something like...oh here's a fun one: I should know, seeing as my favorite pair of satin pink panties are currently halfway up my colon) over the title of this post, fretting over the next time this delightfully charming young fake doctor will revel in a diatribe on secretions known to only the dirtiest of vaginas, anuses (ani?), penises (peni?), and eyes (eye-i...Matey! Seriously, how can you not love pirates? I think a part of me just died.), I would instead like to talk about one of the few moments of satisfaction in my day, the one lingering thread of joy woven into an otherwise questionable piece of clothing my mom bought for me at The Gap known as my third year of medical school (wait, your mom doesn't still buy your clothes for you anymore?) . That moment, ladies, gentlemen, and future patients of the world, is the time of my day when I get to fill out a whole wad of paperwork that serves one simple purpose: to get you, the patient, out of the hospital, out of my line of sight, and out of the rooms I am responsible for at any given point in time.

Now, if you haven't been reading much of this blog over the last few years, you might be thinking, aww isn't that sweet, he wants to help patients recover from their respective illnesses until they can triumphantly return to the real world, vibrant and refreshed, with a new lease on life and blah blah blah? Sorry folks, but one thing I've found common to all residents, one trait I've learned to adopt without hesitation, is the urgent desire to discharge as many patients as humanely possible in an effort to save us the trouble of writing painfully long notes that no one is going to read, writing orders the staff may or may not actually follow, and doing physical exams on patients who are, more often than not, about as appreciative of anything we do as they are aware of their own personal hygiene.

Ah, that felt good.

But seriously, as soon as those discharge orders are in, that little flag on the chart that reads "Discharge Order" is being proudly displayed for the clerk behind the desk to process in about 4 hours (and now you know why it takes so long for stuff like that to happen), I feel a sense of satisfaction that is borderline orgasmic (I'm too tired to come up with a joke about current state of sexual repression, so feel free to insert your own joke here - by the way, hi mom!). Not only has the patient made it through the hospital course and been healed enough to leave, the patient accomplished this stunning feat despite the substandard care delivered by none other than yours truly. Really, it's pretty remarkable.

I guess I don't really have much of a point to this post, other than to glorify a morsel of joy in my day that can easily be overlooked, and I apologize to those of you who have read this far waiting for one. As has been seen now and then, I sometimes need this venue as a means of venting out a slim measure of the frustrations I'm experiencing at any given point in time, just as I'm currently on my pediatrics rotation right now being run around like a chart monkey and wondering on a regular basis why exactly I'm actually paying money to be there in the first place.

And the worst part about it is, unlike previous times, I can't say I feel much better.

Christ, I'm getting myself all depressed. I promise I'll try harder to entertain next time.


Blogger clumsy-of-me said...

If you were the only one that felt this way about the profession they have chosen, I would jump in a lake full of really gross, scum laden water at this moment. I hate to compare, and I won't but, my job is to plan parties for very rich, ungrateful people that will take all of the credit for my self depracation, begging and ass kissing. The only thing that makes it o.k. is that I know there are people out there like you. You may have to swollow large amounts undeserved self-depracating shit to get to where you want to be but, when you get there, you will be making a difference. Whether it's urology, pediatrics or ob/gyn, you will be amazing. I am waiting for a really wonderful person like you in my neck of the woods. Thank you for all that you do and I wish you all the best. I know you will be a great presence in all of the peoples lives that you touch. Thank you for touching mine. I wish you all of the most amazing results... I would never have written this as anything else but anonymous if I hadn't had a few at the x-mas party. Too bad I'm married and not Jewish, I'd show up on 02/22 in a big cake just for you!!! You will be an amazing doctor, wish I still lived in S. Cali, miss it:) Good Luck!!!

11:17 PM  
Blogger Sofi said...

Awww... it's posts like this that remind me of why my state has the highest rate of anti-depressant consumption in the U.S. - we've got an exponential growth rate, which means many women in hospitals, which means mucho paperwork, which means that we [heart] Zoloft.

I [heart] your posts too. They're like Zoloft for my seratonin receptors.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mr Fake Single Jewish Doctor,

I have heard you received a picture of my toplessness at the black sea here in Bulgaria :-) My friend said she had seen enough of my boobs till next summer but I of course being the ass that I am told her I was going to email her the picture. She threatened to send it to you, the fake doctor. I called her bluff, but alas it was no bluff.

Anyways, thanks for bringing some humor into our lives here in Bulgaria. Us pcv's are living the rough life out here and we love your blog!

If you need to laugh at someone elses miseries you can check me out harm1020.livejournal.com


12:21 AM  
Blogger redhead83402 said...

well wow~ if you aren't trying very hard to entertain in this post, I am breathlessly awaiting the post in which you make an attempt! Absolutely hilarious doc!! ( loved the pirate eye aye, hehehehe)
loved the ~Discharge~ , & I mean it
anybody want a p-nut?

2:48 AM  
Blogger redhead83402 said...

Oh, and that shirt your mom bought you? Well, uh, ( hi mom!) you know, you don't always have to WEAR everything your mom GETS you , right? Maybe for camping, if it's absolutely necessary (you could keep the bears at bay with it, they would be too busy rolling on the ground, chortling out loud, you'd have plenty of time to run).... I don't know, it's a doozy, dude ~ I have to admit I broke out into an uncontrollable guffaw when I clicked the link to it. I would start looking into furnishing your own wardrobe about now.... ;-D

3:17 AM  
Blogger Carina said...

My hubby feels the same way. You should see how happy he is whenever he can discharge more than five patients in one day. He smiles for hours. ;)

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even attendings like it when a patient gets discharged. My husband brags about it to me.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Hey TFD, it's your blog. You write what you want. I'd much rather know what a med student has to go through than be entertained by stories about OBGYN faux pauxes (faux paui?) and kids pooping at inappropriate times, although I must say those help. But seriously, this is what I would like to be starting in 2-3 years, and it's nice be able to know what to expect. So... keep on truckin' and blogging the real stuff. We love you!

8:13 AM  
Blogger GB, RN said...

The beauty of working nights...the patients have been discharged to home, rehab, the bar (it's happened), or wherever the patient may have set up house. I come in to work, and ALL GONE.

It's like Christmas everyday...until they come back a month later for the same damn problem.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what, in your medical opinion, qualifies as sufficient hygiene "down there"? A shower? A brazilian wax job? Ob-gyn phobic women everywhere want to know.

10:17 AM  
Blogger missbhavens said...

Ah, discharge. I looooooove sending people home. Even when I know they'll be back in a few hours with some new complaint. Discharge. it just feels good.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Geez, dude. While your blog is often entertaining, it's still YOUR blog, not ours, and you deserve a place to vent your frustrations without worrying about entertaining the masses. This is your place for self-expression, no matter what the message.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Margie the Pickle Princess said...

Yeah! We (the common folk) love you, and true love means sticking with someone through the funny times AND the hard times. Keep on truckin' darlin'.

10:47 AM  
Blogger MattHeatherEmma said...

Funny that you post this when my hubby came home last night and said that he threatened to "eliminate" his PGY-2's if they did not discharge at least 6 patients from the wardsby 5 a.m. today(they have 20 on the floor right now)!! My dear hubby loves to discharge folks especially ones whose parents do not seem to understand that the hospital is not a Hilton, a meeting place for your "baby's Daddy and his Homies" nor can you order the nurses around as if they are some sort of hired help! And if they have to call Security on your A&%, than pack your bags and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love pirates!!!!

12:12 PM  
Blogger Anhoni Patel said...

you need to get yourself an intern.

12:40 PM  
Blogger 3pillars said...

Isn't it funny how people blame their insurance companies for their early discharge on the basis that the insurance wont pay for an extended stay?

12:45 PM  
Blogger freegiftsforworld said...

nice blog , good work,keep blogging

9:41 PM  
Blogger Dr Black said...

Oh yes, Oh yes, OH YES! I just discharged three patients! You're right - this is my orgasmic moment of the day! The only thing better is going home myself...

10:15 PM  
Blogger lee said...

panties in a bunch?-knickers in a twist more like it!

3:02 AM  
Blogger HanktheDog said...

What Keith said. Keep up the good work.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I lurve the discharge orders!!!

It's also one time that most people are in a good mood at the hospital. Most of them are happy to leave! I'm very happy to facilitate their departure!

Love the blog BTW. Thought about you when we took my daughter to the endocrinologist a few weeks ago. His "fake doc" had moved on to another specialty.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aww poor baby ... it's ok, I don't mind when you aren't at peak performance. ~smirk~ (oh, and thank you most kindly for the mention in the Ask post!!)

2:50 PM  
Blogger Twanna A. Hines | FUNKYBROWNCHICK.com said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Twanna A. Hines | FUNKYBROWNCHICK.com said...

Keep your chin up, babes! You'll be okay. :)

9:22 PM  
Blogger MsD said...

what was taht last comment "christ..." . I thought you were jewish! Maybe u can stop substituting my Saviour for some other word when you think of swearing!

7:42 AM  
Blogger MsD said...

btw, i know it's your blog and you have the "feedom" to say what you want etc. I was making a suggestion as a regular reader and lover of your experiences :)

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh, you musta discharged alot of patients today. haha yeah i KNOW i'm not that witty, but i just came off an ER stretch and can you blame me?

9:06 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

As an intern, I'm learning to hone the art of writing brief notes. The trick is to aim for one to two words for each problem. Absolutely no verbs. Utilize up and down arrows. (The exception would be a complicated issue that takes a little more explanation of your train of thought, so that your attending doesn't think you're an idiot when you've ordered the opposite of what should be done.)

For example:
CHF: Still crackles. [up-arrow]Lasix.
ESRD: Continue dialysis
DM: Hyperglycemic. [up-arrow] Lantus
CAD: enzymes neg. No EKG changes. Cont meds. Stress test in AM

10:00 AM  
Blogger trusty getto said...

Oh, please don't feel like nobody is going to read the long notes you write.

I know for a fact that the lawyers will. Every last word, no less.

<(:^o) <----That's an elf, btw.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question for you...and my question is this: Do you have to be smart to get into med school? Obviously one would think the answer is yes. However, I recently learned that this pretty crappy state school offers pre-med as a major and I thought to myself "kids that go there, go to med school...and become doctors?" I couldn't believe it. I don't know how know many of the pre-med majors actually go onto med school, but considering the school is offering it, there must be at least a few kids who get into med school. I know test scores aren't everything, but I don't want some kid who got a 1000 on their SAT to be my doctor. I'd really appreciate a response because I'm really rather curious.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To respond to "anonymus", though I certantly don't want a complete idiot for a doctor, SAT scores really cant judge how well someone will/can perforom at tasks. SATs can't tell how observant one is, nor how well they do, even at.. oh I don't know.. SCIENCE! The main background in medicine. Secondly, someone really intellegent may have been accepted there ("this pretty crappy state school"), and forced to go there due to financial background or anything of that sort, so you really shouldn't judge. (yes I know you mentioned this, that you know test scores don't prove anything really.. etc etc.. )

Honestly though, stupidity and intellegence hold fine lines between each other, and to quote Orwell, both are equally needed, and equally difficult to obtain. I know people who could, and have, gotten into the top notch Ivy-League, Johns Hopkins, Yale etc.. schools, that I would never, under any circumstance let anywhere near me with a white coat on. It's usually those who score highest on tests, that ignore most of the obvious factors looking them straight in the face, and those who can't think well for themselves. Basically speaking, those who can't follow anything that cannot be purely and simply memorized. I don't mean to cause any offense to those perfectly capable people who score high on tests (kudos to you!), just mentioning that there is always a lot more to the story.

So go ahead, and mutter that I'm a bitch and all.. But I'm just opinionated.. and you shouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions simply because of a name or a number.

That is all.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Tribeseeker said...

As a new blogger who, like you, wants to remain anonymous, I have a question: should you tell people you know about your blog? Will they blow your anonymous cover? Please reply.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Ilene said...

Jesus. Get rid of that shirt.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever read "House of God" by Dr. Samuel Shem? It's seems like BUFFing and TURFing are still practiced faithfully, 30 years after he was a resident in medical school.

keep the tales coming -- they're hilarious!

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a second year medical student in the UK, and reading your blog is hilarious!! I LOVE IT! It's now on my bookmarks and I can always rely on it to make me laugh!
I think as soon as I start third year (when we actually are let loose in the hospitals) I'll create a blog logging my experiences too. Hope I can handle everything and still maintain a sense of humour as remarkably well as you have!!

Great stuff!


2:43 PM  
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8:36 PM  

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