It is Friday afternoon at 4 pm. I’m headed to see a consult while simultaneously attempting to shove a granola bar in my mouth and respond to several pages. My intern is somewhere frantically discharging people and post-oping the day’s OR cases. My medical student lists along several feet behind me, dragging his feet and clearly hating life. The consult turns out to be operative, so I call my staff, book the OR, activate the emergency surgery pathway, consent the patient, talk to the family and write the note in rapid succession while my medical student hovers beside me. As I hit “sign” on my note, I hear the sharp intake of breath that heralds the coming question.
“Do you need me for anything else?”
“Well, we are taking this patient to the operating room. It should be a relatively quick, but interesting case. Would you like to join us?”
“I see. Well, you don’t have to. You can go.”
“Ok. Sounds good. Oh, and I was wondering, is it ok if I take this weekend off? My friend from college is getting married tomorrow and his bachelor party is tonight, so…”
“We usually have you guys round at least one day each weekend.”
“Oh, ok. It’s just that he’s, you know, my best friend, and I’m the best man, and I kinda have to stay out with him, so…”
“Fine. Have fun,” I respond, in a flat tone and turn back to my computer.
Kara Hessel is a 4th year resident in Kansas City. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading novels, attending musicals/plays/concerts, and relaxing.