Night Float

I’m officially a week into internship, and my first rotation just happens to be Night Float. For the uninitiated, this means that for my first month, I work from 6pm to 6am, in which I carry the pagers for about half a dozen hospital services and run around with like a chicken with my head cut off every night in order to try to keep all the patients alive until the day teams come back in the morning. During orientation, most of the upper level residents expressed their condolences when I told them that I would be starting on Nights, which did nothing to help with the anxiety of being a “doctor” for the first time.

I somehow made it through medical school without ever having to work nights (except, of course, for 24-hour call, which is of course a very different beast), so the transition has been an interesting one. I’ve gotten myself on a schedule where I go to sleep at around 7-8am, take up around 3-4pm, eat dinner, and then go to work all night. My bedroom now has tin foil all taped all over the windows so that I can sleep in the dark during the day.

As for the work itself… I have to say that I feel like I don’t know anything– simple things that I should know but somehow can’t remember when I suddenly have to apply it. I’m relying on my seniors to answer the simplest questions for me, but sometimes I feel like I haven’t learned anything. Carrying 6 pagers (each service has its own team pager) presents its own interesting challenge of trying to figure out which one went off every time I get a page. I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water, but at least I haven’t killed anyone yet, as far as I know.

Internet paranoia

When I first started out on the web as a teenager, I never really gave much thought to how much I was sharing about myself online. Even as college student and during my first few years of medical school, I continued to be relatively open about my offline identity– to the point that I once felt comfortable listing the names of my college and medical school on my “About Me” pages and include pictures of myself in my blog posts. In the last few years, though, and especially this year with residency applications hanging over my head, I’ve become increasingly paranoid that every word I write will somehow have an effect on my offline life and career. Not that I’ve ever posted anything that was particularly incriminating, but I can’t help having the lingering fear that someone will identify me, and that being identified will have… consequences.

What those consequences might be… I couldn’t really say. In actuality, the chances that I’ll lose my job or get written up or be reprimanded in any real way are probably minuscule. But I think I reveal parts of myself on the internet that I don’t in person (and vice versa), and that maybe I’m uncomfortable with the idea of having those parts of myself revealed to my IRL friends and colleagues (yes… apparently I’ve somehow become enough of an adult to have “colleagues”). I find myself wondering how my future residency program director or my future attending, or even a future patient might react to my medicine-related comics, and whether I need to try harder to remain as anonymous as possible. I find myself referring to my specialty as “a competitive subsurgical specialty,” or to my medical school as “a midwestern medical school.” Anyone else feel like this? How do you cope?

How to have an Atheist wedding

It’s been more than 2 years since Luke proposed to me and, after what may be the longest engagement in all of history, we finally have a wedding date scheduled and venue picked out. It seems that this getting married thing is actually going to happen! The details, though, of exactly how it’s going to happen are a bit more nebulous, for a few reasons. The first and most obvious is that neither of us has any religious affiliation (and are actually both strongly Atheist); the idea of a “traditional” church wedding is not only inappropriate, but on many levels, downright offensive to our sensibilities. More than that, though, is that we come from vastly different backgrounds: I, an immigrant from mainland China, and him, a Jew by ethnicity. Add in the fact that our parents have set out very few expectations, and “simple” questions like “What will the ceremony be like?” or “Who will officiate the marriage?” or even “What will our vows sound like?” suddenly seem not so simple anymore.

I like to joke that all I really want in a wedding is to get dressed up and look pretty, eat good food, and get presents. That’s probably not too far from the mark. Call me cynical, but the idea of listening to hours of cheesy readings (be they religious or not) and making unrealistic declarations of eternal love and commitment doesn’t appeal to me in the least, and I would probably be happy to minimize the ceremony in favor of the reception.

As I mentioned before, so far, we’ve managed to book and venue and set a date. We had actually strongly considered the possibility of getting married at the Science Museum (and I must admit that the idea of doing this appealed to me quite a bit, as an analogy to the church in a Christian wedding), but ultimately settled on a small nature reserve with a beautiful garden and just enough room. It will be small wedding, largely because I don’t have a great deal of family here in the States (and, having immigrated when I was 7, would probably not recognize most of the extended family that I have in China).

The first day…

So… today was the first day of my second year of medical school, and though I would have been happy to let it pass without comment, I ultimately decided that it would be nice to post about the goings-on in my life every once a while. For being the beginning of my last year of classroom-style education, it was surprisingly same-old-same-old, though I do have a few changes from last year to note:

  • I’ve moved. Luke and I moved to a new apartment about a month ago. Now, rather than taking the bus as I had done before, I’m a 15-minute walk from campus. The upside is that I’m no longer bound to the sometimes-reliable but always-inconvenient bus schedule; the downside is that I’m actually responsible for when I get to school… which means I no longer arrive 10 minutes early. This means I no longer have my pick of seating, a condition which is made worse by the fact that…

  • The auditorium is smaller. This new auditorium is nicer than our old one, but I liked having 2-3 seats to myself, dammit!

  • I have a new backpack. A sexy Swissgear backpack with a cell phone holder on the strap. …did I mention the cell phone holder?

When MySpace.com was a storage site

Does anyone remember when MySpace.com was a internet storage site? I’ve brought this up in nearly every conversation I’ve ever had regarding this present-day-social-networking-cesspool, usually to an audience of “you must be crazy” stares. Apparently I’m the only one that remembers. I was starting to doubt myself, actually, until it occurred to me search the Way Back Machine, and voila! Proof once and for all! That screenshot you see is from around the year 2000, when MySpace was offering 300mb of internet storage with each free account.

Actually, I came across MySpace.com when I was in middle school. It was, sadly enough, one of the only methods available for sharing large media files (and “large” meant something like 300-500mb). Anything larger than 300mb would be split up using a program like WinRAR and uploaded to multiple MySpace accounts, to be joined after downloading. Oh, how far the Internet has come.