In residency, at Staywell Rehab Hospital, we had no dedicated consult resident. So the resident on the least busy inpatient service held the consult pager and was supposed to do the majority of the consults. If the resident holding the consult pager couldn't staff a consult, she was responsible for finding someone who could.
During my last rotation at Staywell Rehab Hospital, the resident holding the consult pager was named Caitlin. I was on an EMG rotation at the time. Caitlin seemed to be chronically busy, and I sort of took pity on her and would let her know if I had some spare time between EMG patients to see a consult, so she wouldn't have to go around begging. But sometimes it just got ridiculous.
Caitlin: "Fizzy, I got two consults today. Can you see them both?"
Me: "Well, the clinic resident Valerie doesn't have any clinic scheduled today, so I'll see one and maybe she can see the other."
Valerie: "Omigod, Caitlin just asked me to see a consult!"
Valerie: "I'm taking a STUDY DAY today."
Me: [thinking] "What the hell is a study day? Can I have one of those?"
Valerie: "Why can't Caitlin see the other consult?! She doesn't have any admissions!"
Caitlin: "Hey Fizzy, Valerie won't see the other consult. She says she's taking a study day. Can you see them both?"
Me: "Is there anyone else who can see the consult?"
Caitlin: "We're all REALLY BUSY."
Me: "Well, I'm kind of busy too. I think the Valerie needs to do it."
Maybe I was in the wrong, but I sort of feel like there's a limit to how nice I'm willing to be.
Of course, there was a big reason we all hated doing consults. Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow.