Ah, the hierarchy…

It is, though.

I have no issues with authority. Really I don’t.

I take orders well, I don’t overstep obvious lines in a hierarchy. There are consultants, then registrars, then house doctors, then interns, then student interns, then fourth years (if any), then us. The second years don’t enter the hospital until late second semester so we are literally the bottomfeeders here.

I acknowledge that. I accept that.

What I don’t understand though is how we can be expected to just take the fact that we aren’t always treated like part of the team, let alone like semi-intelligent life forms. I don’t want to get into the specifics, but sometimes it feels like we are just an extra burden to the team, a nuisance to our seniors. Honestly.

During rounds, all the big dogs get together in a little huddle and whisper. There are many of us in the team. So obviously the outermost ring–the third years–hear absolutely zilch. Then they want to jump on us for not taking the bloods that they mumbled to each other about.

I’m sorry, as much as we may act like puppies following you around and hanging on your every word, we are not in fact capable of superhuman hearing. Thank you and goodbye.

We are capable of only as much as we are notified about. We cannot psychically determine that you think this patient needs an FBC, especially not when our experience is a week to your seven years. Also, we cannot just assume that when you ignore us for three hours straight after we have finished all our ward work you are actually expecting us to be taking a moment to prepare for rounds that will never actually happen. We speak English. Talk to us.

I’m probably just whining, because this is a relatively new occurance. Last week was awesome, the team dynamic was great and our responsibilities and prohibitions were always clearly communicated to us. It’s only been the past couple of days that the doctors have acted like we don’t exist, only to turn around and get mad simply because we do exist.

It’s Valentines time, people’s brains are mushy. I’d better just excuse them.

On a lighter note, here’s a little randomness from last week:


Dr X: Put your bags down! You can’t walk around with those things. It looks like you are impatient to leave.


Dr Y: Don’t just leave your bags lying around! We have a room for that. Don’t let me see that again.


Dr Z: Third years, why are your bags in our room?! What, are you too precious to carry them?


Dr X: These third years are still carrying their bags! *irritated* You guys don’t listen.



Filed under Surgery

2 responses to “Ah, the hierarchy…

  1. uh-huh. Yes. That’s exactly the way it happens. Maybe in some of your other rotations this year you will be lucky enough to end up with a reg who makes the third years stand on the inner circle and recognises your inabilities for inexperience and not mere stupidity. Some doctors are idiots – no, really – with an EQ of 20.
    Chin up and good luck with the next two weeks.

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