One thing I really hated about med school and residency was when you were stuck in a patient's room while the attending decided to get all chatty with them about things unrelated to medicine. For example, I got stuck standing there for a twenty minute conversation between an attending and a patient about Valentine's Day presents their husbands gave them. And you're just trapped.
When I was an intern, I was rounding on a Sunday one day and I got trapped in a really irritating situation. The attending started talking to an elderly patient's family. This led into a big nostalgia fest. I swear to God, I heard every story about this woman. I now know her favorite music, her favorite TV shows, her favorite color. And we'd had a meeting with the family practically every day and her elderly sister loved telling these stories. I'm a somewhat patient person, but for Christ's sake it was Sunday and the room was 2,000 frickin degrees and I just wanted to finish up my work and go home. I still had a lot to do.
The worst part was the attending was eating it up! He was chatting with them and not making any move to leave during breaks in the conversation. If the family ran out of things to say, the attending would be like, "So who was her favorite movie star?" I was like, "You've got to be kidding me, let me out of here!!!"
As I stood there, I prayed to god that my pager would go off, because I knew that would be my only means of escape. I kept looking at it, wondering if I could do something to it to even make it SOUND like it had gone off. Finally, I fiddled with it, it beeped softly, and I exclaimed, "Oops, I gotta go!" And I ran out.
I got some of my work done outside, wrote orders, finished notes, and signed out to cross cover. Then I came back to the room and the attending was STILL talking to the family. I quickly slipped away.
I paged the attending when I was ready to leave. I said, "I'm sorry I left but it was really hot in that room and I had work to do."
He said, "It's okay. They just seemed like they wanted someone to talk to."
And then I felt like a huge jerk. But then again, I still don't think my standing in that room made much of a difference.