Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.
White Coat Diary asks Doximity members to share how they spend their days or nights inside and outside of the hospital, clinic, or office.
Name: Farah Naz Khan
Institution: Emory University School of Medicine
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
6am: It’s a Sunday morning and I’m on call for two hospitals — covering for other fellows so they can get a weekend off during otherwise very busy months. Obviously, waking up at 6AM on a Sunday is nobody’s favorite thing to do, so the first thing I think when my alarm goes off is “why me?”
7am: I’ve snoozed my alarm at least ten times in the past hour. Thankfully my husband is out of town this weekend, otherwise I’m pretty sure he would’ve considered pushing me out of the bed at this point. Begrudgingly, I drag myself out of bed and start getting ready for the day
8am: I head to my computer so I can look up all my patients at home before I head into the hospital for rounds. Usually, for my patients, this involves noting down all pertinent laboratory values and blood sugars. I’ve developed my weekend system into something of a fine science over the past couple of years, so this doesn’t take me much time. And the plus of doing this while at home is that if there is anything alarming during my chart review (say a blood sugar >500 or a potassium of 2.0) then I can alert the primary teams in the hospital before I am physically in-house.
9am: I’m usually already en route to the hospital by this hour on the weekends, but this Sunday, my fridge decided to fail on me. I went to grab milk from the fridge for my coffee when water started pouring of the freezer. In a panic, I text my attending to let him know I’ll be running a little late today because of this fridge situation. Of course, Saturday is when I had decided to go grocery shopping to start eating like an adult again, so there’s fresh eggs, raw poultry, gallons of milk, and salad bursting from the seams in my fridge. I put the most perishable items in coolers and take them to drop off at my friend’s house before work, only to get blocked on the way by a local marathon. Sigh. I take a quick u-turn and head to the hospital so I can start rounds.
10am: I stash my food in a staff workroom fridge thanks to the nurses on the floor who majorly pitied my current situation and then start my rounds at my first hospital of the day. Anybody who was willing to listen heard about my fridge saga, and I finished up my rounds just in time to meet my attending to go over our patient squad.
11am: After my attending and I review all our old patients, we go to see our new patient together. Sadly, this poor patient was going to be spending his birthday in the hospital, but he was making the best of it: “who doesn’t love a colon prep in the hospital for their birthday?!” I work on finishing my notes for my patients at the first hospital, and then text my attending at the next hospital that I would be en route shortly. I tell my second attending that I am a bit discombobulated today thanks to the fridge failure and the traffic from the local marathon — he responds with a simple “be cool.” Well-played, sir, well-played.
12pm: At my second hospital of the day, I trek up to the fellows office to look up our new consults for the day. I breathe a sigh of relief and thank the custodian who cleaned up our office because on Saturday it had been a trainwreck. After gathering the information I need, I go see our patients and finish up rounds rather uneventfully.
1pm: I meet my attending in his office to review our new patients for the day, and we both agree on the plans of action for our patients. Then we both talk about life a bit — my job search, his family, etc. Right around when my stomach began growling (the fridge fiasco meant I had inadvertently skipped breakfast), we wrap-up and keep our fingers crossed that the rest of Sunday will be uneventful.
2pm: The mini fridge I had Prime Now-ed myself (god bless Amazon) was delivered right when I returned home from my hospital rounds for the day, so I set that up while eating a lunch of fridge leftovers for the day. Then, I fielded some pages from the hospital and texted some friends to try to figure out who had the most freezer space.
3pm: Not quite the Sunday I had envisioned for myself on this otherwise beautiful Atlanta day, but after picking up my food from the hospital fridge and packing up my freezer, I deliver my most valuable freezer food (read: my mom’s homemade cooking) to my friends to salvage what I could. Sadly, lots of ice cream and popsicles were sacrificed in this endeavor, which is likely better for my health anyways ha.
7pm: God bless my friends with freezer space. I hung out with my friends and we discussed life outside the hospital over chai before I headed back home. At which point, I chart reviewed all my patients again before just taking it easy for the rest of the night. After a long call weekend, I usually spend Sunday nights just taking it easy before the week gets a fresh start all over again.