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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A thought on lifestyle

It's interesting how people immediately get an idea about your lifestyle based on what you do. What really amuses me is how often their perceptions are wrong. First you say you're a doctor. Now you have to deal with the thoughts that you make tons of money, you're on the golf course (or tennis court or at the country club) every day. Your days are short. And oh yeah, you never ever ever make a mistake. Then you tell them your specialty. In my case, anesthesia. Now I get to hear how I don't really do anything, but sit in the OR and read the paper/do the crossword. Never mind that every day and in every case we take responsibility for a patient's life.
I was on call last night. I'm in one of the few fields where it's not only the residents who take in-house call. Now, I know that doesn't happen in every hospital, but we do take call. Even if your call is "beeper call" you don't get to leave until the last case is done.
At 3am, I was in an elevator with my attending and a surgery intern. We were taking a kidney transplant patient to the SICU. While we were there, she noted how tired I was (having been in the OR since 7:30 am with almost no breaks). She then made the following comment, "And people think we do this for the lifestyle." Now, I'm not complaining about having to take call, or being on call. I got to the hospital at 6am yesterday, worked straight through unitl 3:30am, got paged at 4 for a code. Then I went back to my call room, slept from 4:30-6:15. I finished my post-ops, grabbed some breakfast in the cafeteria and handed off the code pager to the first person I saw. Then I went home and slept until noon.
I'm too tired to say anything else, at least anything else coherent.

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