Doximity Asks: What’s Your Craziest Work Lunch?

Illustration by Pooja Pradhan

It’s lunchtime, and you’re on your feet, as you have been for the last several hours. Your stomach is growling but you’ve still got patients to see. You duck into the break room to scavenge for something to eat.

All doctors have been there. And all doctors have probably had to come up with some crazy lunches while working. So we asked Doximity members, what are some of your weirdest lunches?

“In residency, I ate birthday cake from nursing station leftover for anyone.”

—<a href="https://www.doximity.com/pub/vineet-arora-md">Vineet Arora, MD

“In the festive season, I have eaten holiday cookies for lunch while on-call and pressed for time. I would not recommend this as an on-call staple!”

Shree Agrawal

“I mixed a tube feed with a can of diet Sprite one time. 20 g of protein!”

Sinehan Bayrak, MD

“Our senior resident, who happened to be Ethiopian, organized a meal for our team at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant. This was my first experience with Ethiopian food (as was the case for most of us there) so she did all of the ordering. It was a great and truly unique experience.”

David Draghinas, MD

“Plain saltine crackers taken from the patient’s kitchen. Sometimes it was graham crackers if we were lucky and maybe a little peanut butter.”

Pat Edwards, MD FAAP

“I generally start out my call day with healthy foods like salad, fruit, soup. But as the day progresses and I see it is going to be a crazy one, my resolve to be “good” deteriorates. I know I have reached bottom when I succumb to the “Chaos cookie” which is a huge pillowy soft, mound of luscious cookie heaven filled with chocolate chunks, pecans, pretzels, potato chips, dried cherries, and anything else they felt like throwing in from the kitchen. I would guess it is 50,000 calories…per serving…and there are 2 servings.”

Andrea Eisenberg, MD

“My meals on call range wildly from ordering delivery with the on-call team (anything from pizza to thai) to things I wouldn’t even call meals (missing a meal entirely during a long night on trauma, or grabbing a candybar at the vending machine because the cafeteria is closed). A few years ago — I think it was memorial day weekend maybe — our on-call team for trauma surgery grilled a few burgers near the heli-pad on a portable grill while we were getting caught up on things for the day.”

David Hindin, MD

“My craziest meal was eating nothing at all!”

Farokh Jamalyaria, MD

“Ungodly amounts of French fries.”

Barry Julius, MD

“Five east nurses station’s candy bowl. The HUC keeps it well stocked, and it has become more than several meals.”

David Lee, MD

“I have certainly eaten just candy. Once I had dinner on the plane home from a procurement from The Palm, a fancy restaurant in New York City. I have had cold pizza for sure and just chips and a soda. During residency, you’ll eat almost anything. My parents brought in a full Thanksgiving dinner once when I was on call for the holiday.”

Susan Pitt, MD MPHS

“I spent many an on-call day eating hospital graham crackers, peanut butter, and ginger ale!”

Megan Ranney, MD MPH

“The most desperate lunch eaten (and unfortunately continues to be) occumedrs when I’m too busy to leave the ICU for even a minute and I’m forced to rely on the free patient food. This consists of broken, stale Graham crackers, diet ginger ale and honey packets I squirt in my mouth. If I’m lucky I’ll find a leftover sugar-free jello in the far back of the fridge!”

Jessica Zeman, DO

More from Op-Med