Our first night in NYC Peter and I attended a recruiting dinner for his company. Not only did we get to eat at a fancy restaurant, I had the entertainment of listening to conversations in a room full of emergency room doctors. Are you ready to replay the evening?
We got out of the gate a little slowly: because we arrived there early, the only other people present were a couple other directors of emergency rooms run by Peter’s company. Conversation topics included “what computer system is your site running?”, “what is your volume these days?”, and “did you hear how many doctor hours that ED staffs every day?"
Luckily the residents finally arrived and conversation quickened to an exciting pace. We steered our way through various odd topics. Comparing the weirdest way they’d witnessed someone intake drugs (shooting heroine directly into the radial artery) naturally turned to the oddest arm cases treated (an industrial power washer hitting the arm and shooting it full of water). Somehow this topic turned the conversation toward the “regulars”. Every ED has them. Every ED doctor (and nurse) knows them by name. It can be entertaining to compare the creativity your regular’s pain meds seeking excuses with regulars in other cities.
Unfortunately the conversation stalled for a while on what sort of ultrasound equipment is used/preferred/disliked in their departments. But not to worry, it sped up again when they started talking about appropriate names to call unwilling consultants, which would be inappropriate to tell here. (You imagine what you would call a urologist who refuses to see a patient in your department.) Then there were the reasons they’d been written up before. (Can you believe that sometimes an emergency room doctor loses his/her cool? Peter apparently asked a patient’s husband once were he got his medical degree).
Naturally the conversation meandered through favorite reverse discrepancies (mostly they focused on when the nighttime radiologist resident reads a test one way and the next morning the attending radiologist reads it differently. The ED doctor must then call the patient and tell them their initial diagnosis was wrong. Turns out ED doctors HATE that!) Sounds sort of boring, but you’re talking about brain bleeds, broken bones, and any number of reasons to get CAT scans and X-rays.
The conversation ended on the not so high note of favorite intubation tools. Yawn? Um, they are talking about how to jam tubes and scopes down people’s throats. I may have had no idea what the names of the equipment were or understood what they were doing once they started speaking in pure medical terminology, but I did find it extremely entertaining to watch the eyes around the table brighten as increasingly bizarre techniques and/or equipment were mentioned. Protected airways never seemed more exciting.
And that was the journey of dinner last night. If you can’t take words like cadaver, blood, puke, septic, or anal exam while eating, never attend a dinner party exclusively made up of doctors.