Tuesday, July 27, 2004


One of the residents on the service is off on vacation, so this translates to an increase in the workload for the rest of us. Although this results in more operative experience, it also results in more scut time. Scut being a term we use to describe any activity that has less than zero educational value.

We've also picked up a medical student from Tulane that's rotating through a general surgery service to fulfill the requirements for her 3rd year clerkship. Although one may believe that having a medical student may mean the ability to distribute the work accordingly and thus a decrease in workload, the opposite is true. Due to a variety of factors ranging from medstudent errors to hindrance to relentless questions, my efficiency is nearing an all time low.

But I think part of this is due to my medstudent being a FOB from Hong Kong. Although she speaks English very well, the vast chasm of difference between her cultural background and ours creates a cornucopia of difficulties. This contrast of cultures results in many lost jokes, misunderstood directions and idioms, and a new cloud of confusion that has descended upon our surgical team. Watching my attending deal with this new student in clinic has become my source of quiet amusement.

On an entertaining value, the medstudent brings in CD's of Chinese music to listen to during our surgical cases in the OR. So instead of the usual rock music, we're now jamming along to sappy Chinese love songs. Although exceedingly bizarre to our ears during the initial exposure, we've grown somewhat accustomed to the strange pop sounds of China and look forward to what other interestingly bizarre music our student will bring to the OR next. It's a shame that she will be leaving us at the end of the week. I will miss her foreign mannerisms.