display | more...

In medical school and residency, we round.

Rounds are when the team meets up and goes through the list of patients. I am thinking of a day on pediatrics where I did well on rounds. Not in the usual way.

The team consists of the senior physician who is the faculty. A resident, in their second or third year (ok, in surgery it can be seventh year.) Often two interns, in their first year and then medical students. Sometimes a social worker.

On rounds in the morning, especially after a night on call, we introduce the new patients. Often we literally round as a team, going from room to room. The faculty was at home for the night. The patient is presented mostly from memory, in a specific pattern. I used 3 by 5 cards to help back in the 1990s. We didn't even have palm pilots yet.

I am a family practice intern on a 5 week pediatrics rotation. The pediatric cardiologist and I arrive a little early. He's had 4 years of medical school, 4 years of pediatric residency plus a fellowship in pediatric cardiology and is a subspecialist.

On rounds we are often asked questions. Name the causes of pediatrichyperkalemia. What are all the kidney illnesses that can cause proteinuria? The "gunners" memorize papers and quote new research and generally look for ways to show off. And some people really know a lot. Really.

The pediatric cardiologist and I are gabbing, and I am saying that I am not very good at memorizing papers for rounds. He doesn't care. We discover we have kids the same age. "I can memorize kids' books." I say.

He grins. "Which?"

And the team arrives one by one with lovely expressions of confusion as we recite Dr. Seuss's ABC in unison from memory, start to finish.... "Big A, little a, what begins with A? Aunt Annie's Alligator, a, a, a!"

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.