I just made my mother, who came home from the hospital today, put a pink stethoscope around her neck and pretend to be an attending. Poor woman. Just home from surgery, practically bed-ridden, and I’m already harassing her.
BUT I had to practice the oral presentation I have to give tomorrow afternoon.
Tomorrow morning I will be back at my off-site hospital, doing my best to be a second year med-student. Tomorrow I will be expected to take a full history and preform a full physical (without the rectal, gyn, and breast parts) on an inpatient. Full-history? Piece of cake. Full physical? Haha. Wait, you are serious? You think I know how to do a full physical? We had a lecture at the beginning of the year, which was at the beginning of AUGUST, mind you, where we briefly ran down the parts of the full physical. It is now October. Uh, I have the memory of a goldfish. A bit of a road block when you are a med student.
Two weeks ago when I was there we had the same assignment. The patient I was interviewing was in the ICU recovering from brain surgery. When I walked into her room I noticed about eight million tubes and machines and IVs sticking out of her body. The first thing that ran through my head was, SHIT. How does one preform a physical on a fragile woman in the midst of eight million tubes. Okay, well, top down, begin with the head. Palpate the scalp. Wait, she just had brain surgery, perhaps I should lay off the head. Shit. So I begin with the full history, and just as I was getting to the part where I am supposed to ask the fragile 80 something year old woman about her sex life, her family came for visiting hours. Saved by the bell. The attending was busy and told me to go home, I was spared the awkward physical exam, yet (in a medical-student kind of way) sort of bummed because I really do need the practice.
My mother, the attending lawyer in the pink stethoscope, told me to just act confident. If you act like you know what you are doing, people think you know what you are doing. And as long as you are in no position to do any harm, I suppose she is right. I just hope I don’t get a horrific attending tomorrow who makes me feel like an ass. I hope I get someone who will start teaching me the basics. It’s about time I learn this stuff and stop feeling like an idiot.