Ode to an Attending
Get curious! This is what Dr. M would write on a sign which she would then display and point to, each and every time she asked a question re: your pt that you couldn't answer. And there was always a question. During the middle of your presentation it seemed nit picky that she would want to know if your pt's knee Sx from 18 years ago required hardware since you had no plans for your pt to get an MRI and her knee hx was in no way relevant to her CC of SOB or HPI... But the point was, Dr.M wanted YOU to know. Ditto for alcohol drink of choice, where your pt was born, what motivates your pt, LMP, current Hep C status and so on. Dr. M would say, "I am interested in all of your pts and their problems and want to hear about whatever you want talk about." And the thing was, she WAS interested and although she had already looked at the labs and read the PT report and seen the CXR she still let you fumble through your presentation, because that's how you learn and because she knows you need the practice. Dr.M would spend 45 mins to discuss the case of a pt in a vegetative state. A patient that had no chance of ever improving. But she wanted the team to help the patients family prepare for his eventual demise and she wanted everyone involved to feel comfortable with end of life issues. Dr. M would tell you exactly what you were doing wrong but she would also tell you when you did a good job, and you just had to accept that the ratio was closer to 10:1 than 1:1. Dr. M would answer her own questions and order consults when she already knew the answer. But she also admitted when she had her facts mixed up. Dr. M made you aspire to be better, and in the end, isn't that the point?