I had to head uptown earlier today for a pre-ward orientation meeting with the Chiefs. Afterwards, I found out that I've been slated for an extra month in the ER this April. Guh. ER time. One one sense, ER time is good as one can view it as basically call-free, what with being shift work and all. But in another sense, I find that a day in the ER can somehow feel three times as long as an analagous day in the ICU or the wards. There's just nothing to break up the time, you know? It's like working on an assembly line in a factory: pick up another chart, pick up another chart, pick up another chart. Done with that patient? Great! Here are three more for you to see. There's no breaks, no conference, no discreet teaching time, no designated lunch or dinner breaks. Just work work work. Cram half a sandwich into your pie-hole in between nebs. Then work work work again. Maybe they'll give me a pick-axe and I can break up some rocks while I'm at it.
Don't mind me, I'm just embittered because my vacation is ending and the thought of returning to my Q4 workaday life is filling me with quiet dread. But actually, I'm downright filled with positivity! Or at least feigning positivity. Interview season has started again, and the halls of the hospital are awash with tastefully suited applicants and leather portfolios. Interview season is such a strange time. How to sell the program without seeming like a total liar? How to seem upbeat without seeming fake? How to convince total strangers that we're TOTALLY FUN and RAD and LOVE OUR JOBS and WOO WOO GO TEAM without having the applicants back away, wide-eyed, groping for the doorknob?
In one sense, it's fairly easy for me to sell our program, because despite everything that I whine and cheese about, I really do like my co-residents and I really do think we're rad, and some days I do get pretty excited about my job. But there are things that suck too. I mean, come on now, it's residency. It's not supposed to be a fucking cocktail party. So how to allow honesty but not scare people away? How to highlight the good without seeming like I'm blowing sunshine straight up to the splenic flexure? And how to eat as much free fancy interview food as possible without seeming like they don't pay me enough salary to afford food?
But anyway, those are thoughts for another day, when I'm officially back in the hospital and obligated to concern myself over such things. After a long and rainy commute, I'm back home, eating a late lunch of leftover chicken tikka masala, and the dog is giving me this look of sadness and longing like those kids in those "Save the Children" ads. (Before they get their sponsors, I mean.)
Currently reading: "The Corrections". Oh, such a madcap family romp. Also reading a little about travel in Asia in planning for our next trip in March. The good thing about going to Asia would be that if they decided to put me on night float in the ER after we got back, the jet lag would totally work in my favor.