LOS ANGELES, CA – Third-year UCLA medical student Christopher Witt has been placed into airborne, droplet, and contact isolation after both the third-year resident and attending on his internal medicine team found his enthusiasm to be a little more infectious than they’d like.
“There is nothing we like more than having a medical student who is eager and ready to learn, we embrace that actually,” explained internal medicine attending Dr. Lisa Noble. “But Christopher is a little too enthusiastic. Like crazy enthusiastic. As in, if he got any more enthusiastic he’d be foaming at the mouth and wagging his tail, if he had a tail.”
Most teaching faculty will tell you that one of the joys of working with medical students, from nervous first years to polished fourth years, is that they are motivated, enthusiastic, and optimistic, something that is all too often lost after residency training and fellowship.
But something is wrong with Witt. Witt has been placed into isolation in the event Witt’s condition is contagious and poses a threat to other patients, health care professionals, and the public at large.
To maintain some degree of continuity, Witt will remain on the same teaching team but as a patient. A work-up for altered mental status is being initiated at this time, which will likely start with a CT head, TSH, B12, RPR, CXR, blood cultures, urinalysis and urine culture, and may progress to lumbar puncture and bone marrow biopsy.
“Christopher is a bright kid, a really nice kid, but his willingness to learn is borderline psychotic,” third-year resident Karen Bernstein added, who is as indifferent as Witt is interested. “Are you really that passionate about chloride levels and MCV? Seriously? That kind of enthusiasm is concerning.”
Noble and Bernstein are encouraging Witt’s fellow medical students to visit, so as long as they double gown, double glove, and double mask.