Friday, February 26, 2016

Calling for a Consult

Perhaps it's time for a Botox.

If anything, the following events that happened just this morning certainly impressed on me how very dodderingly ancient I am! Immediately brought back uneasy recollections of a scenario that happened when I was a terribly green junior registrar way back when. For ease of reference, our strictly followed medical hierarchy at work - regardless of specialty - goes a little something like this.

Houseman --> Medical Officer --> Registrar --> Specialist --> Consultant

So after a particularly exhausting round at some ungodly hour in the intensive care unit, the senior doctor turns to me to draft out her plans. Let's just call her Jane.

Jane : That should be the plan for the patient. Just write it down and I'll confirm the changes with the consultant on-call. 
Paul : You're the consultant on-call. 
Jane : What? You must have read the roster wrong. That's years away. I'm only the specialist. 
Paul : No, you're the consultant on-call. Take a look at the roster. 
Jane : OMG. 

Yeah, it suddenly just hits you. Like a bleeding sledgehammer right to the face. I could have sworn there was downright panic in Jane's face when it finally sank in.

Damn, you mean we're the consultants now? 

Didn't find it quite as funny when it happened to me though. Exactly this morning when I paid a cordial visit to the colleagues in my previous hospital. Certainly a welcoming bunch with coffee and nasi lemak but I simply couldn't shake these fellow specialists from the infernal habit of calling me boss. Medical peers after all with no need to pull rank in the break room.

Paul : We're all doctors here, you can call me by name. 
June : Actually, no. You remember Ebullient Eve and Nervous Nancy
Paul : Sure, they were my medical officers way back when. 
June : They are my badgemates. We all finished our specialty training last year. 
Paul : OMG. 

For us, it would be the equivalent of finding out that the toddlers you used to babysit have graduated college! Didn't I just sign their papers to apply for the training just yesterday?

You mean we're supposed to be the consultants now? I think I need to sit down.

No comments: