If you look at the posts on this site, you’ll notice a glaring gap between the month of August and the month of October. Maybe you’ve wondered why. Maybe you attributed it to the inconsistencies and waxing, waning enthusiasm of a new blogger.
Fear is, in fact, what happened.
I’m currently the last year of my fellowship. That’s 2 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 7 years of on-the-job training: over a decade spent preparing for a profession that I’m about to officially, independently embark on. If anything, I am over-prepared. I should be impatiently chomping at the bit. I should be eager to move on.
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.
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