stop rounding time

A Guide To Recognizing Your Hospital Saints: Doctor Edition

And I understand now, maybe not completely, but more, that in times of overwhelming joy, immobile sadness, hysterical laughter, absolute fear, and sometimes just perfect quiet there is Life. [And residency.]

/Dito Montiel, A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints [Added by me]


When the topic of my employment comes up, as it must inevitably do in the culture of American small talk, people become confused.

“You’re a fellow?,” they say, hesitantly, “…so that means you’re in residency?”


“You’re a fellow?…So that’s like an intern, right?”


“You’re a fellow?…But I thought you were a girl.”


I’m kidding about the last one. But despite the continued popularity and abundance television shows and movies taking place in hospitals, confusion remains around the roles of the vast horde of people milling around the hospital who will inevitably meet you, poke you, prod you, and wake you up at 5 am to check on you.

stop rounding time
thanks to via

It’s definitely a hard thing to understand, especially when you’re overwhelmed by your medical situation and the atmosphere of controlled, chlorinated chaos contained in a very sterile-looking room. Even those aforementioned shows and movies don’t identify hospital staff correctly – an intern as a resident, a neurologist as a neurosurgeon, etc – and it’s like commotion cordis every time.

So for all you filmmakers, for all you television writers, and for all who will eventually come face-to-face with medical staff of some sort, here’s a quick guide to recognizing your (hospital) saints (non-canonical, with all apologies to Papa Francesco): Doctor Edition

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Ode to Coffee Shop Music

coffee collage

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
       Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
/ John Keats, Ode to A Grecian Urn
If it wasn’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.
/ David Letterman

Coffee shops are my happy places. There’s just something about a small space brimming with the sharp smell of roasted coffee and the pleasant din of voices and Macbook keyboards and espresso machine steam that makes me smile. Coffee shops are also usually nicer than my apartment – stylish in glass or steel or sea-weathered wood; and neat, having been cleaned at least once a day, every day – and therefore more pleasant to be in than my place.

They’re also the only readily available locations that I can get any work done efficiently, thanks to my father, who used to refuse to turn off the TV while I was doing homework in the attached, adjacent dining room. He’d holler, “I’m training her to be able to concentrate in any situation!” over the crunching sound of the Undertaker body-slamming Triple H into the ground,

and his “training” worked, kind of: turn on some music, have a conversation in the background, add the noise of one hundred students fidgeting and coughing and scratching at paper with ballpoint pens – oh, great!

But situations involving total silence – libraries, study halls, my apartment – basically all traditional places of study: I can’t concentrate at all.

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