NASHVILLE, TN – In a situation that can be described in no other way but shocking, neophyte July intern Elena Sanchez grabbed a cup of decaf coffee – yup, you read that correctly: DECAFFEINATED COFFEE – in what is considered a classic rookie intern mistake. The unfortunate incident took place at 6:15 AM this morning by the nurses station.
“I always worry about becoming restless or nervous,” Sanchez told charge nurse Eileen Jones, who looked upon the intern with a combined look of motherly concern and unforgivable contempt. Even as Sanchez walked away, Jones just stood there frozen like an action figure with a dead battery.
“Ohhh yeah,” Sanchez said as she took her first sip, “this coffee is so good, it’s absolutely hitting the spot.” Yeahhhh. Gomerblog is pretty sure the one spot it’s definitely not hitting is the caffeine center of that poor, deprived, stubborn intern’s body.
“Good God, what kind of intern are we dealing with?” asked her supervising internal medicine attending Reese Butterworth, completely aghast, convinced her action is a call for help. “What is the one surefire way to survive a day in modern medicine? Not coffee… Caffeinated coffee. A heart rate less than 120 during a work day isn’t going to do you diddly-squat.”
It didn’t take long for Jones, Butterworth, and several of Sanchez’s co-caffeinated interns to stage an intervention, before it was too late. Sure, Sanchez could possibly squeak through the morning, but a noontime conference PowerPoint presentation on acid-base disorder given by a notoriously boring speaker? Sanchez would be a goner, her face would be covered in her own dried saliva.
“The only friend you have in residency is caffeine, this decaf stuff is phony,” exclaimed Jones, offering her a cup of what everyone called “the real stuff.” “Trust us. We’ve all been round the block or two.”
“But what if I start depending on it and develop withdrawal headaches?” replied Sanchez, one foot testing the waters, but the other one still firmly on land. “What would I do?”
Everyone else laughed.
“Then do what we all do,” replied Butterworth, taking a large sip of his Venti espresso. “Keep drinking regular coffee.”