Thursday, February 08, 2007

First solo shift

Well, this morning I had my first solo shift. Let me explain - a solo shift is some fraction of an eight hour period in the ER without another doc to help out. Today I had four hours, half of my shift, flying solo. Luckily for me, I had an awesome family practice (aka FP) resident helping me out. Now the educated among you might ask, "Doctawife - you said you were solo. But you had a resident helping - that's another doc!" Well, residents only sorta count. They can see patients, so I can see another patient or write in the chart or call a specialist or whatever... but in the end, I'm ultimately responsible for the patient the resident sees. The buck stops with me, and sometimes, it's a pretty sick buck. And residents are not just in the ER to 'move the meat.' They are there to learn. Which means I have to take the time to teach. And that doesn't help move the meat. That actually slows the meat down.

Now mind, only other well trained pediatricians will understand how remarkable the sentence about "awesome family practice resident" is. Pediatricians generally don't like FPs. Why? As a group, pediatricians think that FPs don't get enough training in pediatrics. Which means they make mistakes. Most of them aren't bad, and don't hurt kiddos. But sometimes, oh sometimes, the mistakes are bad. And for whatever reason, many of the FPs that come through the ER are really terrible. In terms of pediatric knowledge, they're worse than med students, even.

Not this one. She rocked. I taught her about basic pedi stuff, and when the kiddo with the kidney stones came in, she reminded me about those. ('Cause usually 11 year olds don't get kidney stones. I hadn't seen one since med school. The FP resident had seen one the month before in adult-land. It ruled.) And even with the basic pedi stuff, I was more reminding her of common pitfalls than teaching her new material.

Oh, and I told her of common FP mistakes, and why I would beat her with a stick if she ever did any of them. Why the beating? 'Cause she's smart and has no business making any of them.

But yeah, solo was challenging. At one point I was taking care of ten patients. That's a lot.

It felt good.

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