Wednesday, May 14, 2014


The interesting thing about learning medicine, is that no matter your personality before you begin, pretty soon you will morph into the stereotypical physician. Yeah, I know... just like mutants have the X gene, residents have the Dr gene. Douse a mutant in a vat of toxic waste and you have a superhero. Douse a medical student in a residency program and you have almighty cynical-holier-than-thou Dr. Beastard. Or so, I hope to aspire too. ;) well, not exactly, but when you find yourself at 3 AM on a night shift in a stare off with a bunch of police in the Emergency department, irked that they brought you new admits, then you know the metamorphosis has taken place. Back in the day, you saw the world with compassionate loving eyes, animals followed you everywhere like Snow White, you thought all mankind were good and patient's didn't ever lie. But after the fifteenth crack-head pregnant woman that asks you to abort her baby with a hanger so she can have her opiates (seriously, a patient or two has asked that of me) and hundreth patient calling you foul names because you bother to wake them up in the morning at 9 AM (remeber you've been up since the Butt crack of dawn worrying about them surviving the night), you tend to morph into the cynical doctor. So here I was at 3 AM, staring down a group of police officers in the ED. Night cops actually are really sweet people. They bring in some of the most interesting cases. The alcoholic that thought he was Abraham Lincoln. The IV drug user that taught me all about how took cook crack cocaine... that was interesting. The two men that got in a stabbing fight but for some reason both blamed it on their dog. Then there was the guy running around in aluminum shorts that was convinced the aliens were coming to get his sperm. Normally, I don't mind the entertainment, but I was tired and cranky. And I just didn't want to admit another crazed lunatic when I already had an intensive care unit full of critically ill patiens to already worry about. So I looked their Sergent in the eye and said with pouting determination, "Oh, no. What ever you brought in, just take it right back out." They laughed for a good ten minutes. I was serious. They thought I was funny. "If it's a face eater you just go and to take it to another hospital." I was still pouting. Two weeks without much sleep can make you pout like a two year old. One of the handsomest cops (either he was really handsome or sleep-deprivation turned him into a coyote-ugly for me) smiled, "Ah, we'd never bring you a face eater. We like your face. We bring those to _____." (I won't say the name of the large trauma hospital 30 minutes south for their sake.) It was true, they had four cases of bath salts sniffers in the past month that they had taken the trauma center. Notice, the paramedics bring in people that don't eat faces. Cops bring in the crazies. Yep. They tend to bring us the blade swingers, the face eaters, the drunk-off-their-skunks, and the good old talks-to-themselves-schizophrenics that run around naked in the middle of the night. At any rate, it doesn't matter if you didn't go into a psych residency, you're still going to get a couple of crazy admits in the middle of the night brought in by the police regardless. It just happens.