Path to Doom
Before introducing yourself to the team, make sure you ask for your days off. In fact, it is best to inform your resident of the days you must have off rather than asking which days are best for the team.
Don’t worry about punctuality, as medicine is not the type of profession in which we worry about “punching a time clock”.
Wear scrubs as much as possible as it will make you look more like a doctor. Also, try to look disheveled so people will think you are working so hard that you don’t have time to sleep, much less shower.
Don’t seem too enthusiastic, as Medicine is a very serious specialty.
Don’t worry about actually seeing your patients during prerounds. It is better to make sure you have all the lab data and dispo paperwork filled out.
Don’t spend too much time examining the patients as this is a busy rotation and it is more efficient to wait for the ECHO and radiology reports.
When rounding, try to question your resident’s judgment and scoop your interns by withholding data from them. This is called “roundsmanship” and it is very impressive to the attendings. In fact, if done well, they may think that you are actually running the team.
Don’t spend time talking with your patients about nonmedical things. Sick people dislike visitors and you could really spend the time more efficiently in the library reading about patients.
Make sure you only learn about your assigned patients. In fact, it is a good idea to break away from rounds to order tests and do paperwork when the team is not rounding on your patients.
Wait to do the bulk of your reading the three days before the exam. This way, all the information will be fresh in your brain.
Try to be as quiet and unobtrusive as possible. It is safe to assume that if something really interesting comes up your resident will have plenty of time to track you down.
If you do decide to read during the rotation and you find an interesting article, don’t trouble yourself to share it with the team since they probably know it all already. If in doubt, just quietly leave it in the mess of papers in the team room. If they are really interested, they will find it and realize that it must have come from you.
If problems arise during the rotation, make sure you suck it up and don’t tell anyone (particularly Dr. Harrell as she has the reputation of being an ogre). People will see the suffering in your eyes, sense your hidden pain, and appreciate your noble martyrdom.
Remember…”the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, Samuel Johnson