Pleural Confusion

Posted on November 1, 2011

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(or my most horrifying Halloween ever)

So now I’m into week four of my medicine placement. It probably would have been a good idea to start blogging straight out of the gate, but I didn’t so here we are. So far, I’ve had a busy week on the medical assessment unit and two less busy weeks on an endocrinology ward (though with not very many patients with endocrine problems) with a consultant who’s gone on holiday and a registrar who I’m beginning to think is fictional.

Anyway, this weekend my family came to visit to celebrate my mum’s birthday and so I spent two days eating in Claridge’s and not studying, and eventually monday morning rolled around, as they have the nasty habit of doing.

To cut a long story short, I arrived on Monday, which also happened to be Halloween, ready for the ward round and spent the next three torturous hours writhing under the gaze of an SpR who, having had a whiff of my total ignorance, quizzed me relentlessly about pleural effusions while I stood partly in stunned silence and the rest of the time blathering wildly hoping that at some point I might say something half intelligent.

Next, I was grilled on the difference between Nephrotic and Nephritic syndromes, the salient details of which also escaped me.

And the CURB-65 score, again woefully ignorant.

Probably the most demoralising three hours of my life.

The afternoon turned out to be pretty slow, so I went home with the SpR’s confidence inspiring remarks (“you’ve got a lot of reading to do”; “I expect a certain level of knowledge from students in their first clinical year”) ringing in my ears and an intense desire to quit medicine entirely and start a new life as a florist, where horrible things like this probably never happen and everyone leads lives of unbridled joy and enthusiasm.

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Posted in: Humiliation, Medicine