On the first day of my surgery clerkship, our chief resident gave us a few instructions for our next two months together. We had to carry certain types of gauze and tape in our soon-to-be overflowing white coat pockets, create a clear and confident daily plan for each patient we followed, and be ready for rounds at 6 a.m. the next morning.
A few weeks ago, I was describing my team’s discharge plan to the patient I had been following all week. We had found an anterior mediastinal mass on imaging, and the pulmonologist wanted to follow-up in a week after immunohistological staining came back. I told him we felt he was now stable, and that we would like him to follow up with the lung doctor as an outpatient within the week. He asked me if he should return to the ER to get his appointment.
She asked me if I was from New York. I told her I wasn’t. I was from California, actually, but enjoying myself in New York City while I was here. I asked her where she grew up. She said Brooklyn. She asked to see my referral card. I asked her to clarify. She said she wanted to see my referral card. For coming here. And did the super know I was here? Where was my card?