There's a certain rite of passage that occurs across the nation every year at this time. Over 16,000 fourth year medical students, fresh graduates from their respective institutions, having spent 2 years learning the basic sciences (Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Histology, Neuroscience, Development, and Pathology), followed by 2 years spent shadowing doctors in their affiliated hospitals and clinics, are finally set free and become, dun dun duuuuunnnnnnnn: interns. Officially, July 1 is the start of the medical calendar. Most programs, like the one here at the University of Buffalo begin their new interns the week before. So be forewarned.
Traditionally, July and August are the worst times to be admitted to the hospital. There are more errors. Studies take longer. Paperwork takes longer. Everything just kind of slows down. Also, nurses tend to be surlier as the new crop of newbies get thrown into the pond that is the hospital and disrupt everything.
Please don't touch or feed the buffalo!
Our Emergency Medicine interns get broken in slowly. They are spending the next week doing orientation things: learning the various computer systems, getting introduced to the various faculty, getting lab coats and passwords. They will then have the month of July to "ease into" the emergency department. For that month they'll be in a sort of a glorified medical student role.
Our medical students on rotations see their patients, present them to the attending, and then have all of their orders co-signed. They are only allowed to follow one patient at a time. Our new interns will be able to sign their own orders and will be expected to start seeing more patients at a time. But, like when I first started, building up the number of patients you can handle takes a while.
I will do my end of the year wrap up in a subsequent blog this week. So, for now, stay safe, and stay out of the hospital if you can avoid it... :D