Wednesday, January 26, 2005

reading this and that

So I'm finally doing some actual academic reading for my "Reading Elective," trying to bone up on some anesthesia basics before I switch residencies in July. And let me be honest, it is blowing my mind a little bit. It's just so completely different from the medicine I've been practicing so far, with so much to learn in the way of machines and equipment and pharmacology and re-learning high school chemistry (who knew Dalton's Law of Partial Pressure would ever come up again in any meaningful way?). My biggest fear is that I'm going to be a total idiot when I start up. A totally DANGEROUS idiot that's going to kill someone's grandmother.

It's moments like this when I really start thinking hard about my switch, moving from one field where I feel like I've developed some minimal degree of mastery and throwing myself into another field where I know nothing. And then I start thinking cozy, reassuring thoughts like, "Oh, if I just stay in Peds, I could be done in a year and a half, and have my nice little General Peds practice, and then I wouldn't have to do all this scary new stuff and everything would be PERFECT." But I know that's not the right choice either, and I know a lot of my trepidation has to do with me being pushed (or rather, pushing myself) out of my comfort zone. Seems like there's a lot of that going on lately. Changes afoot.

* * *

So to procrastinate (see above) I've been looking a little bit on New York's message board, just to see what the scene is out there and maybe get some tips from parents in the know. Well actually, how I really heard about is from a Peds resident who's currently looking for a job with a private practice in the city after graduation--apparently, a lot of parents gossip about their Pediatricians online, and she wanted to see if she could dig up any dirt on anyone she knew. I didn't learn much in the way of Peds World gossip, but what I have picked up is that some of these New York moms are BITCHES. Seriously. Not all of them, sorry to the normal ones, acknowledging that the really snotty ones are in the minority--but man, is that one vocal minority. It reminds me of those flame wars that used to take place on the online bulletin boards in college, only with even less accountability, since no one's usernames or e-mail addresses show up in the posts. Some examples:

Mom 1: Did anyone get the new bootie cover for the Bugaboo? I'm considering buying it, but I want to make sure it's worth it. [For the general public, which included me, the Bugaboo Frog is this fancy schmancy high-end $700 stroller.]
Mom 2: Yes, I got it, and I love it!
Mom 3: I got the [some other brand] bootie cover, and it works just as well, as well as being cheaper than the $150 one sold by Bugaboo. And I think it looks even nicer!
Mom 4: Why don't you just admit that you cheaped out and got the [some other brand] cover, instead of pretending that "it looks nicer." How could it look nicer? You just didn't want to pay for the best one.
Mom 3: Excuse me, but I paid $700 for a stroller, where do you get off calling me a cheapskate?
Mom 4: I just call them like I see them.
Mom 3: Bitch!
Mom 4: Skank!
Mom 3: Whore!
Mom 2: I got the blue one with fleece inside!


Mom 1: I'm a first-time mom and thinking about hiring a baby-nurse or a nanny to help out after my child is born. Anyone have any experience with this?
Mom 2: Why don't you just give your child away until she's 18? That would be the most convenient thing, you lazy fuck.
Mom 3: What's wrong with you? She was just trying to ask a simple question.
Mom 2: Lazy rich bitches should even have kids if they're just going to hire nannies and nurses. Take care of your own child! Didn't you see "Nanny 911?"
Mom 4: Not everyone who hires a baby nurse or a nanny is rich. And not everyone can be a stay-at home mom like you, Little Miss Spoiled Upper East Side Trophy Wife with a husband that's probably cheating on you with his secretary! Some of us want to go back to work!
Mom 5: If you loved your child you would quit your job and stay at home. I was an I-Banker for 12 years and I quit the second I found out I was pregnent.
Mom 4: "Pregnent?" Nice spelling, bitch. Where did you go, Vassar?
Mom 5: I went to Yale and then Harvard fucking Business School, fucktard!
Mom 1: Jeez, sorry I asked.


Mom 1: What do you think of last names as first names? I'm thinking about doing this.
Mom 2: That could be cute. Like if your last name was "Connor" or "Riley" or "Mackenzie"
Mom 3: Gag. "Mackenzie." Go to, you fucking loser.
Mom 4: Hey, my last name is Mackenzie. What's wrong with that?
Mom 5: I like that name for a baby, but spelled "Mykinzyee"!
Mom 3: Oh, you are so dead.
Mom 6: My last name is "Goldenstein." Do you think this would work as a first name?
Mom 3: You're an idiot.
Mom 6: It was a joke, you bitch!
Mom 3: Skank!
Mom 6: Stupid whore!
Mom 3: Hey, I may be a whore, but I'm not stupid! I went to the Harvard School of Prostitution! [Etc. etc. etc...]

So now I'm a little scared of these moms. Because they're crazy. Obviously, this is all amplified for comic effect, but all of these little online exchanges are based on real ones I read. Is it a New York thing, do you think, or is it just generally too easy for people to be mean when it's anonymous? I also think I'm going to start staying away from these forums, except possibly for entertainment value. It's too scary out there.

* * *

Finally: Oh my lordy, did you see this story out of Brazil? A 17 pound baby? Gaah! I hope they named him El Gordito--they could call him Gordy for short.

Currently reading: Lange's "Clinical Anesthesiology." Any anesthesia residents/attendings/nurse anesthetists want to weigh in, either on their experiences starting out in the field or on good clinical reference books? I would love to hear your input.


  1. Anonymous11:21 PM


    That mom 1-6 dialogue, almost peed my pants. Way too funny.

    The Harvard school of prostitution (kills me, just kills me) hahahahah.

  2. Anonymous2:05 AM

    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks so much for writing this. Was just told to check out your website by the one male anaesthesiology attending in my program who is actually trying to be involved in kid's life - male attending reminds me of your husband as you describe. Anyways, male attending notices that very few females in our program and that I am pregnant and concerned re: what is coming up. And he said - go home and look up scutmonkey. And I went to the library to look it up thinking scutmonkey is like a guidebook for some anaesthesia stuff that I need to now learn. And now I can totally see why he is asking me to read your blog ;-). My parents and parents-in-law are wondering how I can be such a lousy mom to not want to stay at home. Anyways, I am so glad you wrote this. And since it is funny, I will email to parents and parents-in-law and they can maybe get some insight into what it's actually like for doctors. My mom-in-law thinks I am crazy for not quitting medicine and for not staying home with kids. Was making me very sad to have to cope with all these expectations and feeling very unsupported and thinking maybe I am horrible mom-to-be for considering nannying as an option until I read this post and realize that it is normal.