It will come as no news to anyone who reads this blog that there are differences between surgeons and physicians. (Ha, low blow already, obviously I've picked a side) Anyway, that difference was made starkly apparent this evening on rounds.
Rounds, for anyone who doesn't know, is what docs call our going around as a treatment team to call on each patient we are taking care of. On a medicine service, this usually involves going into the patient's room, saying hi, chatting a bit, doing a quick (for medicine) exam and discussing findings and options, usually about fifteen minutes per patient if we are moving lighting (again, for medicine) speed.
Today I witnessed absolutely the quickest patient rounds I've ever seen. We saw the first patient, who is about to be transferred out of the SICU, and the chief resident literally looked in the door, pointed, and said in an earnest and friendly voice: "you okay pal?" Recieving an affirmative answer, we went to the next room.
As a future internist, I was a bit surprised. I mean, the guy is getting better, but he's still in the ICU. But, like I said, there's a difference between our styles of thinking.
A lot of it, I guess, is in the nature of the problems we face. For a surgeon, the patient's big problems are behind them once they get out of the OR. (And heck, if a neurosurgery patient is aware and talking, things are going fantastically well.) For an internist, they are probably only beginning. And while I respect the surgeon's drive and intensity, I possess more of the thoroughness and patience of an internist. Residency choice confirmation #203.
And as a short commentary on yesterday's post, two things. (I love numbered lists. For some reason, I think that fits with the topic at hand...) One, you know you're tired when you put the honey for your tea on the coaster, rather than in the cup. But two, with warm food and a job that is fun, lack of sleep fades in significance.
But I'm still headed to bed.