Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tales from Residency: No hablo ingles

When I was a resident, I had one attending who was fluent in Mandarin. We got Mandarin-speaking patients from time to time, so when we did, they were all assigned to that attending. Made good sense.

But I have to say, it wasn’t incredibly fun to round on those patients. It’s often a little dull to sit there and listen to an attending converse with a patient, but believe me, it’s way less fun when the conversation is in a language I can’t even begin to understand. (I speak passable Spanish.) And this particular attending liked me to act as her shadow, so there was no chance of leaving, even when the conversation turned away from medicine and was about, like, Mandarin TV shows.

But okay, rounds are rounds. The more annoying thing was when it would be the middle of the afternoon and the attending would suddenly realize "we" forgot to ask a Mandarin-speaking patient if his arm pain was any better. So she would come up to me and say, "Let's go ask him about his arm pain."

I would always be in the middle of doing like a million things and it was like, "You want me to drop everything and come with you to this guy's room to watch you ask him in Mandarin if he has arm pain? Do you REALLY need me for that??"

1 comment:

  1. I've yet to understand the educational value in "here, watch me ask a question/do simple routine thing". If you're showing me something or teaching a point, then fine, but if its just to watch you fill out paperwork (as it has been a few times), count me out.