PITTSBURGH, PA – Medicine intern Randy McMichael has been trying to make his measly paycheck last each month. Despite making the usual sacrifices – subsisting on a diet of graham crackers and cutting out any expenditures that full under the category of “fun” – McMichael is down to his last resort: begging patients for spare change.
“Please, please, if you’re happy with the care I provide, please donate any amount, there is no amount too small,” said McMichael to his comatose patient while ringing a small bell and offering a tip jar filled mostly with disappointment. “Even if it’s a nickel or a quarter, it’ll mean so much to me and my family.” McMichael let out a sigh when his patient refused to donate.
Last week McMichael had better luck with donations: he earned over $10 in tips after cardiopulmonary arrests and another $13 for his excellent dedication and commitment to the disimpaction of elderly colons. Today: 87 cents.
McMichael’s undergraduate and medical school debt hovers around $200,000, which, with his current paycheck and tips, he should be able to pay off 50 years after his death. “I don’t know what terrifies me more: dying or paying off debt while dead,” admitted McMichael, as he hordes toilet paper from the resident call room. “Hey now, toilet paper adds up if you buy your own.”
GomerBlog asked McMichael if he had any family to help support him, but McMichael shook his head, stating that he lost touch with his family the moment he entered into medical school. “I miss my family,” he said very fondly, hugging his tip jar like a teddy bear. “They were cool people.”
Patients and families pity interns like McMichael. Though some will donate a few dollars here and there, the majority are hesitant, concerned that interns will inappropriately spend money on alcohol or drugs. “It’s a shame,” said an anonymous patient. “I hope that intern stops making bad decisions, like going into medicine for a career, and starts turning his life around. Such a shame.”