Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bad med student

One day during my OB/GYN rotation, another third-year medical student named Jenna was alternating with me to scrub in with an attending named Dr. Richards for his four surgeries (stretching from 7 AM to 5 PM). She scrubbed on the first one, then I was supposed to scrub on the next two, then she was to scrub on the last one.

When I walked into the room for the second surgery, Dr. Richards made the enigmatic comment to me: "When I ask you to do something, don't ask if someone else is supposed to do it."

I was sort of confused, considering I had just walked into the room, and as far as I knew, I hadn't done anything wrong yet. But he seemed fairly pissed off.

After the second surgery I did, he asked me if I was scrubbing on the next surgery and I said that Jenna was, and he said, "No, you are." And that was that. At least I had five minutes to grab lunch.

I asked Jenna about it later. Apparently, during the first surgery, she managed to piss Dr. Richards off. It was a laparoscopic surgery and he asked her to change the settings on the camera and she said, "Isn't someone paid to do that?"

In her defense, I think she was trying to be funny. She had the sort of sense of humor that some people just didn't get. And sometimes it's better not to make those kind of jokes around attendings you've just met.


  1. Yup … Never a good idea to make that kind of joke. Falls into that vague and annoying territory of "unprofessional" … Also the catch-22, you need to have rapport with superiors to establish rapport. Can't just force it. … Aside from that, I think the OR is not a place for kidding around (unless those in charge want to). For underlings there are lots of good reasons we should just do what we are told, when we are told.

  2. WOW.. ouch!! Actually the OR can be a fun place, but I certainly would never say anything like THAT. And of course I wouldn't initiate any joking/teasing if the mood wasn't right and didn't know the attending.

  3. Maybe it is better she find out now that one just does as one is asked no matter what?

  4. I'll tie up the scrub nurse, I'll clean poop off a patient (if someone gets me the wet rags), I'll take teeth to parents, I'll show people where the elevator is... I won't mop the floor (I don't mop my house, and I won't mop the OR). Being a medical professional means you do what needs to be done.

  5. I have that same sense of humor....

  6. Well, it was a dumb thing to say, but Dr. Richards also seems to have a giant pole in his ass.