Saturday, April 07, 2007

30 posts in 30 days, day 4: aye aye

The next time my patients ask me about general anesthesia, I'm just going to show them this:


It will really save me a lot of explaining.

* * *


JOE
So guess what they're going to give me when I graduate residency in June?

MICHELLE
I don't know. Money?

JOE
No.

MICHELLE
Um...a gift certificate to TGI Fridays?

JOE
No. A captain's chair.

MICHELLE
A what?

JOE
A captain's chair. You know, like in the Dean's office.
(Shows picture on brochure)


MICHELLE
Ah so. Are you the only one getting this, uh, captain's chair, because you're chief resident?

JOE
No, they give it all the third years.

MICHELLE
Wow. Well, it certainly looks...comfortable.

JOE
Not really.

MICHELLE
Do we have to accept it?

JOE
They're having it shipped directly here.

MICHELLE
Can we sell it on eBay?

JOE
It's going to be monogrammed. With my name on it. And it's going to say [University Hospital] Department of Ophthalmology.

MICHELLE
Well, that's nice, I guess.

JOE
Yeah.

MICHELLE
"Help, I'm a prisoner in the library!"

JOE
What?

MICHELLE
Nothing. Hey, I don't suppose we could just convince them to give us the money that they would spend on the, uh, captain's chair instead? You know, cut out the middle man, that kind of thing?

JOE
Honey, our very own captain's chair!

MICHELLE
Just looking at it makes my butt hurt. Where are we going to put it?

JOE
Right next to my sword.


* * *


So those math whizzes among you may have noted that if Joe is starting his fellowship in July 2008 but graduating residency July 2007, that there is something of a "gap year" during which time he will not be in training at all. This year is necessary, as I still have to finish my residency before we can relocate anywhere (if, indeed, we end up relocating), but the great thing about it is that because even a junior attending can easily make three times as much money as a resident even while working fewer hours, Joe will likely only have to work about three and a half days a week for my entire CA-3 year.

I cannot tell you what a load off my mind this is. First of all, I'm happy for Joe, because he's really put in a lot of hours over the past four years, and he deserves a nice break before fellowship starts. But secondly, I'm happy for Cal, because he and Joe will be able to spend a lot more time together. Imagine this, Joe will actually be able to spend time with Cal in the daylight! He'll actually get to take him to the park, to the doctor's office, to his music classes! There will finally be a member of this household who will be able to go to the Post Office and the bank during business hours! If I get held up at work, I don't have to worry, because I know that even if I can't be home on time, Joe almost certainly will be. Best of all, as a roving ophtho attending working between several different clinics, Joe will probably only have a total of a few weeks of call the entire year. And that's attending call, not resident call. The frequency of an ophtho attending actually getting called at night and needing to come in for an emergency operative case is...well, it's extremely low.

My next year is probably going to be rough (anesthesia being one of the few fields where the residency actually gets harder as you move up, instead of easier), but knowing that at least one of us has a more flexible schedule allows me to concentrate on work while at work, as opposed to worrying that Cal is going to forget what his parents look like.

Now I can just worry whether or not Cal is going to like Joe more than he likes me.




Currently reading: Patient records for my cases on Monday. I'm back on Neuro this month. Still waiting for my books from Amazon to come in. At this rate, my vacation will be over by the time they get here! Damn you, Free Super Saver Shipping! In addition to "Better," I also ordered that P.D. James book "The Children of Men," which unfortunately is only sold now with Clive Owen's picture on the cover, looking all broody and post-apocalyptic.

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