just another day at school

I walked into the building wearing my scrubs, not really sure where I was supposed to go.  There was a room on the right with a lot of scary looking dudes in it… that definitely has potential, I thought to myself.  I lurked over toward the door and peeked in when some really big dude walked up to me and blocked the entire doorway with his body,

“Can I help you?”.

“Uhm, I’m looking for SWAT team training?”

“Yeah, well, we’re building bombs in here. Try the door down on the right.”

Right.  Well, I found my classroom.  If you are going to pick a day to be late, make sure it’s on a day when you get to walk in into a room and have 100 scary looking testosterone-filled eyes immediately stop watching the video of a man being shot down in the field and turn to stare at you, the sole, really out-of-place-looking, tall, blonde, awkward girl.  I took a seat in the back and listened as my mentor taught the men about wound packing, the proper defensive positioning when attending to a man in the field, applying tourniquets 3 inches above the wound, and needle decompressions.  As the time passed I think the guys got used to my presence.  I could tell because they stopped glancing at me nervously every time there was a “tea-bag” or “donkey punch” reference.  I was surprised when one of them even spoke to me, “Can I borrow a highlighter? I’ll trade you a bullet…”

Next thing I know I’m in the medic vehicle, Van Halen is blasting, the sun is shining, the windows are wide open and we are tailing a cop car down some back roads at an uncomfortably fast speed.  We pull into a hidden cove and find the sniper team getting ready to drill.  They want to know if I’ve ever shot a gun before.  Ha.  “Nope, never.” Then they want to know if I’m some kind of liberal. I give a hardy laugh to dodge the question.

Now I’m standing to the right of two men wearing camo pants tucked into their army boots, black SWAT shirts, buzz cuts, goatees, and guns around their waists.  In front of me is a metal silhouette, my target.  A third guy just a few steps away from me tosses a Flash Bang on the ground.  BOOM! Um, it’s smoky and I can’t see what the hell is going on.  Though I am holding an extremely large gun the green scrubs and pony tail kind of negate any hope of looking intimidating.

“You realize I’m going to need a little extra instruction, right?”

“Just grab it with your left hand and put your arm through here.  Good.  Now this part goes where your bra strap lies.”

Um, what is going on here. “Okay, like this?”

“Oh my god you look incredibly awkward.”

Sorry this is the first time I’ve ever held a gun, much less a semi-automatic machine gun. No big deal.

“So… this gun is really heavy.”

“You are such a girl. Put your finger on the trigger, aim the red dot at the head, and shoot.”

BANG. I look around.  No, you did not make that noise, you haven’t even shot the gun yet.  BANG! This time I actually did pull the trigger, not much of a kickback and I hit the metal target. BANG! Hit it again.

“Stick your butt out! This isn’t like those other exercises you do! Bend your knees and stick your butt out!”

And what other exercises are you speaking of, Steaky?


This is kind of fun.

An hour later I am hiding behind a door on the second floor of an abandoned building.  I have a grenade (that they promised me was dead) in my hand.  I hear them yelling from below, “Alright men, listen up! There are three bad guys wearing green pajamas hiding in the building.  GO!”

One part of the team snuck up the stairs and came in on the second floor, the other team came from the floor above.  As soon as a man went down my job was to jump out of my hiding place, scream really loud, and throw my grenade at them.  Fifteen scary men are approaching with guns.  I am hiding behind a door.  A man goes down.  They are frantically putting pressure on the fake wound and fumbling with the bandage and I’m supposed to jump out from behind a door, scream, and throw a five pound grenade at them? You’ve got to be kidding me.  Luckily they saw me (oops) and fake shot me before I had to chuck the bomb at some big scary guy’s nose.

“Hey doc, you coming back next time?”  Are they talking to me? I think the enormous men are talking to me.

I could be scutting around the hospital, chasing down labs, preforming rectal exams, writing notes, getting my attendings coffee, or doing this…

“See you in two weeks, boys.”


1 Comment

Filed under clerkships, emergency medicine, med school, medical school, medical student

One response to “just another day at school

  1. Pingback: by the way, it’s sunday |

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