Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I wish I could say I'm one of those doctors who don't get fazed by anything. Cool, collected thoughts, systematic approach to solutions under duress. Including patients who make you nervous.
"Yawn. 2 patients coding at the same time? No problemo, dude. Let's do this..."
But no, I'm not. Hence my avoidance of surgery, cardiology and critical care medicine.
Case in mind, this patient whose thyroid I biopsied today. Now, bear in mind I've done over 20 thyroid ultrasounds and have biopsied over 15 nodules. So although I'm in my first year, I know how to handle the probe and needle.
So this was a 30 year old lady with a thyroid nodule. She also happens to be someone I've worked with in the past. And, she also happens to be a very very VERY attractive, very friendly person. So, I coolly examined her neck, idle smalltalk, trying to put her (well, probably myself more) at ease.
Lay her down on the examination table. Disinfect her neck. Apply ultrasound gel. Nurse holds the needles, ready to give to me. Then place the probe on the neck.
Thinks to self:
(What the?? Why does the neck look so bloody strange? Familiar, yet strange...)

Then my attending pops the bubble:
"Dr. Vagus, perhaps you'd like to turn the probe around..."
Dooh. >_<
Doesn't inspire confidence, does it? My attending had to tell the patient, "Don't worry, he's not usually like this."
They all had a good laugh (patient included).
My attending and nurse gave me a hard time the rest of the day because they know I'm pretty handy with the probe and biopsies. Usually.