Friday, August 12, 2011

Today was my last day on Radiology. I had my attending fill out my evaluation yesterday because I never know when he's actually going to be around. He wished me luck on my next rotation and told me to keep in touch (which is funny since I can guarantee that he has no idea what my name is). I told him that I still had one day left on the rotation and that I'd be in the next day. The radiologists were all shocked that I was going to actually come back. Apparently, once their evaluations are signed, students rarely return.

He should not have told me that because the temptation was almost too great. Especially early this morning, when I'd hit the snooze button three times too many. I decided to go in anyway, at least until noon (yeah, grueling, I know) and then I'd go home and take the exam that I didn't study for and call it a day.

Of course, all of the interesting patients waited until my last day to show up. The minute I walked in the door until the moment I left hours later, we went from one procedure after another and I didn't have to identify a single anatomic structure on a CT. We spent the last three hours of my work day in the CT room watching my attending basically invent a procedure on a patient that desperately needed a catheter placed but had no accessible peripheral veins. He was all pumped about this, but the other radiologist looked slightly less enthusiastic about it. So did the patient for that matter.

At least for me, radiology is almost always as dull as dishwater. I spent the last two weeks sitting in a dark room looking at abdominal CTs and chest x-rays, being lulled to sleep by radiologists quietly repeating the date 15 times into their handheld dictaphones. Today it was as if the circus had come to town. Half of the surgery department, all of the radiology department, an anesthesia resident, the CT techs, my resident and I are all crammed into this space smaller than my freshman dorm room, all of us peering at a computer monitor to watch the progress of a 12 cm needle as it got closer and closer to its intended target.

The radiology tech, this high strung older man who looks like he belongs at the North Pole helping Santa make toys for good little boys and girls, is running around about to blow a fuse because every attending in the room is trying to tell him what to do. The patient is screaming everytime the radiologist tries to draw on his skin with a marker. The department director is hovering around making sure all the T's are crossed and I's are dotted so the department doesn't get sued when the procedure doesn't work.

And my resident and I just keep saying to each other "Why hasn't every day been like this?"

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