Posted by: sayamika, the killer bunny | 2008 May 26

I See You

What is a Family Medicine Resident doing in the ICU?

Learning stuff. The staff like to teach, and they expect me to take the most interesting (read: most unstable) patient of the day, and make suggestions for additions to management.

This means large amounts of review material re: antibiotics, electrolytes, pressors, fluid management, ventilator settings, blood gases…. you name it.

Non-tertiary centres have a huge variation in the quality of teaching, and when it’s good, you really appreciate it. There is, however, an enormous advantage to being in such a centre: no pimping**. Lots of procedures, no seniors to push you out of the way. The tendency amongst the staff to say things like “There’s not much going on here, why don’t we call you if something happens.

**pimping, to anyone who might not be aware, is the aggressive asking of questions you would not realistically be able to answer, in order to teach you whilst making you realise that, regardless of where in your class you graduated from your degree programme, you are actually an idiot.

Weird thing #2: ICU rounds are at 9:30 am. I rounded on a ward patient at twenty past five in the evening and beat my attending to her. I have never seen anything like this before. I was expecting 7am rounds, if not earlier. I’m an early-bird around here.



  1. This post makes the ICU sound pleasant! Maybe I shouldn’t have avoided it in training like I did.

  2. It’s brilliant! It’s not very busy this week, so the attendings have time to teach but I don’t get to do much in the way of procedures. A trade-off.

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