Archive | 7:23 pm


24 Jan

We have an EKG quiz on Friday.  Months out of our cardio coursework, and I still don’t really know what bigeminy means…and, yes, I’ve asked many different people, they all look at me like I’m a prize idiot, and then they each proceed to give me a completely different, oftentimes contradictory, explanation.  I nod and feign comprehension because I’ve reached that point when my image is more important than total understanding.  I’ve temporarily become an educator’s worse nightmare.

This morning, my attending whipped through (literally, whipped) six colonoscopies in a little over three hours.  As I became a little dizzy from watching hours of bowels swirling about, I noticed an unexpected pause in the otherwise steady beeping of the heart rate monitor.  Then the anesthesiologist said, “Good, your eyebrows should go up when you notice a screen of flat-line.  So, what do we give her?”

“Atropine,” I blurted before I had time to process.  It’s an anticholinergic drug that, among other things, makes your heart rate increase, and I’m sure it would be the obvious choice for most of my colleagues.  Still, as someone who’s never been the first to respond, it’s reassuring to feel like some things are starting to really become ingrained.  While it’s crucial for physicians to continue to think and be mindful, I think it’s similarly important for some measures of patient care to be like reflexes.

Shit, I can’t believe we’re sped through most of January already.