Happy Birthday, Grand Rounds

Colin T. Son, MD


September 22, 2009

I was at a fundraiser the other day with a bunch of prominent physicians when I heard a funny statement: "Throw a turd off any hospital in America and it'll land on a surgical intern."

As a surgical intern, I can say that this statement sometimes rings true. Internship is the first year of a physician's residency, the year when you've graduated medical school and you're a doctor in name, but you don't know enough to claim the title with pride -- at least not all the time. There's some drama and hardship during the intern year and some beauty to it as well.

My experiences were enough to bring me back to writing online.

Residency Notes hosts Grand Rounds
September 22, 2009.

I wrote for nearly 4 years at a blog called From Medskool, detailing life in medical school, among other things. I took a hiatus from that but returned to write Residency Notes, a continuation; it is a look at life as a physician-in-training, written under my pseudonym, txmed.

My writing has been opinionated and has strayed toward politics, healthcare policy, even sports. But the reason (if one exists) to read my writing and Residency Notes is my unique, ever evolving view of the frontline of medical education.

Back when I started blogging at Residency Notes, my stated goals were "to provide links and commentary on academic medicine, the med school admission process, and changes in such."

[A]nd this will emerge as the start of my first year draws nearer and nearer, I'd like to give some insight into the, probably fairly boring, day to day experiences of a first year medical student.

Posts have documented everything from that moment, as a pre-medical student, to my life as a newly minted physician -- the good, the bad, the ugly, the journey in general.

Then, I wrote about my first couple of weeks of medical school and applying for residency; now, I write about injecting neostigmine.

Neostigmine is a powerful cholinesterase inhibitor that among other things causes...significant bowel contraction. Which is why I was using it.

I'm watching his heart rate on the monitor and then the patient starts throwing in a new phrase. At first I think he's saying, "I hate you." But as I strain to listen it's clear, "I hate poo. I hate poo. I hate poo."

I almost lose it. Sitting there with atropine in hand should this patient have a crisis and brady down, I have to turn around and walk to the corner trying to stop myself from laughing.

Residency Notes is not my only online work, however. For about a year, I've helped run the day-to-day operations of Grand Rounds, a collection of the best of the medical blogosphere each week. For almost 6 years it has been featuring the online writing of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, health policy wonks, patients, and other interested in healthcare.

This week we celebrate Grand Rounds' 6th anniversary as it is hosted at Residency Notes. Come and join the birthday celebration!


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