I’m on an easier rotation, finally. It’s nice to see the sunshine and go walking with the dog in the park after work. And now that I finally have some time, I’m going back and proof-reading and signing the forty-five dictations that I’ve been totally slacking on. They are all, or almost all, discharge summaries. Basically, each one tells the story of one of the patients I took care of in the hospital this last month. It tells the day they were admitted, the day they went home, their list of medical problems and medications, and what happened while they were in the hospital.
So interesting. All of them are interesting. From an educational standpoint, it was a good month of learning: a few good cases of CHF, some rule-out MIs, pneumonia, dehydration, cancer, cirrhosis, pyelo… you know, the basics. From an emotional standpoint, for me anyway, it was tough. Because mixed-in with the 43 discharge summaries there are two death summaries. And because several of the other 43 contain descriptions of meetings in which we told a patient and their family members that their time left together is short.
These people are so cool. From all over the world. Speaking multiple languages. Most without insurance, or at least without private insurance, who ended up at a county hospital. One weighed 600lbs. One was covered in sores from head-to-toe, two were veterans, several were grandmothers, several more were drug addicts. And I got to help take care of them. I was their doctor for the days they were in the hospital. I got to meet their families, draw pictures for them of the insides, and wake them up at six AM to listen to their lungs. Me, little me, their doctor.
There’s so many blogs out there already. Why would I write one too? Maybe for my family and friends far away, to share some of what’s going on out here and tell funny stories of the people I meet. Or maybe more for me, just to have a place to digest and process some of what I’m learning and going through. We’ll see if I can stick with it.