NASHVILLE, TN – Instructed by her team that the task she was being given was of the utmost importance, third-year Vanderbilt University medical student Erin Sperling undertook the mission, and that was to find out what is on menu in the cafeteria today.
“You may not understand it now, but what you are doing is indirectly helping in our ability to make an informed decision,” explained medicine intern Ryan Fitzsimmons, “namely, if we should eat our own bagged lunches or if there’s something really good downstairs worth getting.”
Sperling thinks she understood, seizing upon the fact this might be as critical as the first task ever assigned to her as a third-year medical student on clerkship: faxing a form. She agreed without reservation, trusting the guidance of these seasoned professionals.
“He’s right,” agreed Vanderbilt University internal medicine attending Emily Bauer. “Without you, Ryan and the rest of us would be trying to make an important decision, one about our own nutrition, without having all the information in front of us. The last thing you want to do is change management without having enough objective data. What if fried chicken is on the menu today?!”
The team stared at her silence before Fitzsimmons spoke up.
“You’re a third-year medical student now, only two years from being an intern. We trust that will you make the right decision.” The rest of the team nodded their heads, instilling confidence in their student. “Dig deep.”
With that, Sperling ran for the cafeteria.
“Actually, now that I think of it,” started Bauer towards her team, “can’t we pull up the cafeteria menu online? Yeah, I’m pretty sure we can.”