Yesterday was a bad day.
It’s been a bad couple of weeks, emotionally; me being weaker than I ever thought I could be. I’ve been able to retain my composure mostly.
However, during ward rounds our consultant looked up disinterestedly while I was presenting a rather interesting patient and said, “Today is your last day, isn’t it? So why is it that you can’t calculate the feeds of these children?”
At the beginning of our rotation my partner and I had asked the sixth years to teach us the formulae for feeds. They tried kind of half-heartedly and told us that it wasn’t part of our outcomes. The registrar agreed.
So I responded, not in a sarcastic tone, “I’m sorry – I was under the impression it was only part of the sixth-year outcomes.”
And she responded, “I’m sorry, how old are you?”
She then went on a tirade of how even if it wasn’t in our outcomes we should have learned it. Her tirade consisted mostly of personal insults.
We committed to reading it up and moved on to my next patient. And then my eyes started tearing. And my voice got all husky.
And out I went. In tears. They were big violent sobs.
It was kind of embarrassing. I don’t let people who don’t know me get me down. I’ve never cried in a clinical setup, not even when a patient died. I wait for the privacy and security of my room.
I don’t know why this affected me so much. I guess it doesn’t help that for the past two weeks, we have been mainly ignored by the rest of the team. Our (valid) questions go unanswered. Our input into difficult diagnoses is ignored. We had three OSCEs today, and not once were we told what to expect. Not once were we tutored in anything except breastfeeding and X-rays.
So after really going the extra mile for a team that seemed to be inconvenienced by our presence, I guess I didn’t feel they reserved the right to scold us for not sniffing that we were expected to know something.
It didn’t get better after hospital. I was teary for the rest of the day.
It was weird for me. I don’t cry a lot. Ever.
Consultants are mean, and often. I don’t mind being grilled for answers. I find it thrilling, actually. But personal insults in a professional environment are just so… unprofessional. Here’s hoping I’m stronger next time.