Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Wednesday, February 15, 2006
    Sleep, Interrupted

    It's always hard to function post call. Last night I got three admissions between 5 and 6 p.m. - good; I didn't get any others. The phone calls, however, persisted all night. I got another ER call an hour after I got to sleep, which destroyed my chance for any quality sleep the rest of the night. I was deeply asleep and it seemed to take forever to realize that the pager had gone off. It turned out to be an "FYI" call only, so at least I didn't have to go back to the hospital.

    At two a.m. I got another phone call from a girl who'd been having heavy gynecologic bleeding for a week, so of course decided to call in the middle of the night. Her dilemma: should she go to the ER or call her doctor in the morning? Resisting the impulse to say "How the f*%# do I know?", I mustered enough coherence to discuss her symptoms with her. (She decided to wait.)

    I had a meeting scheduled at the hospital today. I was too tired to go, so called in "sick." Bad doctor.



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