Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dr. Orthochick: Follow up

So lately when you present a case in conference, there's been a push to get us to have at least 6 months of follow up on the patient. I understand the logic behind that, because you usually don't know if the surgery was a good idea or not until 6 months after the fact, but it's a pain to get 6 months of data because i usually don't see the patient back in clinic after the surgery. So I need to drive to one of the outpatient clinics and ask if I can look through their office notes. And since I didn't see the patient at the time, if someone asks me a question about what the patient looked like at the follow up, I can't answer it, so it's pretty useless. If the note just said "she is doing well," then I don't really know how that helps anyone do anything. Also, it means i can only present stuff I did 6 months ago, which seriously, I don't remember what i did yesterday. And then if someone asks me a question about something that happened intra-operatively 6 months ago, then no, I do not remember. (Also, if it was 6 months ago, there's a good chance I didn't know or wasn't paying attention in the first place.)

So I've been trying to find creative ways around this since i have to give a presentation every week and no way in hell am I spending my free time driving around town trying to find follow up notes.

Me: ...and here are the intraoperative xrays. They show--
Dr. Douche: Why do you only have the intraoperative xrays? We need at least 6 months of follow up! I urge you residents to have 6 months of follow up before giving a presentation. I think it is your responsibility as a surgeon to have adequate follow up on the cases you do.
Me: Uh, I'll explain it in a second, thanks.

My next slide said "Pt died the following day"

Me: So that's my 6 months of follow up
Dr. Sportsfem: How does that count as 6 months of follow up if she died the following day?
Me: Fine. Then as my dad would say, she's decaying quite nicely.

My department and welcome to it.


  1. Love your response!

    Next time, visit the grave site and take a weekly or monthly photo of the headstone and include them in your slides. "Yep, still no change. Patient still dead."

  2. I love your response too.