We Need To Talk About Your PET Scan

This is not funny, so if you’re not in the mood for some serious, come back later.

Yesterday was my last day of inpatient medicine for the entire year. I have two weeks of outpatient clinic left and a shelf, but for all practical purposes we’ve completed our clinical year. It’s terrifying to think that in a typical curriculum, I’d be applying for residencies right now. Oh god.

The night before my last day, my team admitted a gentleman, whom we’ll call Mr. P. He came in after hours with a months-long history of difficulty peeing and some blood in his urine. Why he chose to address this in the ER in the middle of the night, I have no idea.

(I have, of course, changed many details here for privacy reasons.) Continue reading

Round and Around We Go

Just in case you were wondering, I hate rounding with a broiling, incandescent passion.

Unfortunately for me, I’m on my medicine rotation, where rounding is not just a part of the day – it’s THE day. For those of you not indoctrinated into this hateful but necessary practice, rounding is when the “team” – the attending, the resident, the intern, the idiot,* and sometimes other people see all the patients on the list in the morning. You should take the word “morning” with a grain of salt, as sometimes rounds can begin at 6 AM and stretch well into the afternoon. Why this occurs will forever baffle me. Continue reading

A Lexical Update

Halfway through last year, I wrote “Commonest Erythematous Palpation,” a post illuminating some of the ridiculous medical terminology doctors use every day. As second year draws to a close – I’m just five weeks from the end of my last rotation, not that I’m counting or anything – I thought I’d provide you with an update with a more clinically-focused bent.

See, last year we learned all these fancy words, but it was like learning formal Spanish when most people in the real world use slang. It’ll carry you in a pinch, but people think you’re an idiot. Continue reading


Since my last post, I have finished my pediatrics rotation and completed an emergency medicine elective. I know I haven’t written too much about peds, but I had a great time on the block chiefly because a) no one yelled at me for six entire weeks, which is a clinical year record, and b) kids get better, as I mentioned before in It’s Always Turner Syndrome. Continue reading

A Second Look

I write to you this time from a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, in the midst of my second travel nightmare of 2015. Frankly, though, nothing can top the horror of the Three Days In Ramshackle-Houston Where I Potentially Came Close To Having My Kidneys Stolen. As such I will refrain from discussing the joys of getting out of Portland with a broken plane and a pair of enraged business consultants with Very Important Meetings early tomorrow morning that surely cannot go on without their august presences. Continue reading

It’s Always Turner Syndrome

I am currently on my pediatrics rotation, which is a wonderful and fantastic world for a number of reasons:

  • Everyone is nice, although this means by definition I cannot be a pediatrician;
  • The patients get better;
  • You get thrown up on all the time.

Continue reading

Three Days, Four Drink Vouchers: A Travel Nightmare

So first of all, two disclaimers: one, usually I exaggerate the absurdity of things that happen to me, but what follows is a thoroughly un-enhanced edition of a travel nightmare.  Two, this is not at all related to medicine.

I’ve just returned to my home in the Southeast after a ski trip in Lake Tahoe. The voyage back from Tahoe took three days, and is a story unto itself.

Continue reading