At the Pannus University Hospital, there is one specific attending, who preferred to remain anonymous for this article, known for exquisitely long rounds. Every lab value must be read out loud. Every differential diagnosis must be discussed. Daily. Each chest radiograph must be read in detail.
Rounds last from sunrise until noon regardless of number of patients in the unit. Three weeks ago, she saw the error in her ways and broke down, purchasing a $5 Applebee’s gift cards for all of the previous residents on her service. She then issued a hospital wide apology for filibustering her life that evidently is crappier than a SyFy Network movie.
Always a friendly face and known for her quiet demeanor and involvement on multiple hospital committees and volunteer work in the community, this ICU doc now admits that she is one journal club article on the Surviving Sepsis guidelines from poking her eyes out with a soldering iron.
“And don’t even get me started on holiday staffing changes!” she puffed.
The formal written apology stated she kept rounds so long to live vicariously through the residents, a group of people she wishes she were still better connected to because their lives are so fantastic. She dryly added, “Residents experience direct care of the patients and generally fornicate each other, themselves, and staff all over the hospital while attendings are held to a different standard. We put on our pant-suits and enjoy chocolate covered espresso beans while re-revisiting about the pros and cons of the night float system.”
However, amongst the niceties of the letter, this disgruntled doc also admits her glee at causing the residents to feel her personal suffering. She chuckled out loud as she relayed the tale of her epic 2.5 hour teaching rounds on interleukins where she brought an entire crate of ping pong balls and threw one at the post-overnight residents each time they fell asleep. By the same logic, she admitted that $5 gift cards to Applebee’s was also a ploy. “Everyone knows that $5 isn’t even enough to get a cherry limeade there, but no matter how awful it is, residents are literally unable to turn down free food.”