Monday, January 19, 2009

Short coats

Exchange between a family practice MD and critical care RN as a medical student tries to navigate the maze of the ICU at 5am:

RN: Here comes a short coat is that one of yours?

MD: Where? No not one of mine.

RN: She looks kind of lost....and about 12.

MD: Hey wait did you call me short coat when I was a student too?

RN: Heh.

For the uninformed in a teaching hospital (training wheel hospital) a short white lab coat is worn by medical students and they are not allowed to wear long white coats until after graduation as an MD. Residents wear the long coats but have not completed their training yet (Most impressive but you are not a Jedi yet!) in their specialty field. So the pecking order is MD>Resident>Med student.

Sometimes the the medical students are courteous and the nurses can be nice and helpful. I don't mind giving some of them a little info so they look smart when they present their case. Some seem to think we work for them and I am glad to give them just enough info to make them look like blithering idiots. Other times the little bastards take off with your chart to a quiet room without telling you when you have real live saving shit to do, sit in your chair and generally get in your way showing up at the busiest possible times to play 20 questions.

Eventually most of the grow up to be real doctors and some are eaten. Its the circle of life at its best.

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