NEW CALEDONIA, ND – Boiling excitement amongst the University of Eastern North Dakota Medical Center (UENDMC) General Surgery team has built to a simmering froth as they wait for the input of the Rheumatology team on their patient, Mr. Steve Plipler, who suddenly developed a swollen 1st toe two days after his elective hernia repair.
“What do you think he’ll say?!” said intern Michelle Lee, giving voice to the thoughts of the whole surgical team as they hunched over a long Whipple procedure late in the afternoon. “It’s so exciting that Rheum’s coming to see our patient!”
Her enthusiasm was met with a round of enthusiastic murmurs as physicians and scrub nurses alike began to speculate about what tests would be ordered and whether a new medication might be started. “I don’t want them to just come in and fix the problem,” said attending surgeon Nash Fredstin, M.D., as he waved a set of needle drivers in the air, “I want to have a real good discussion about rheumatologic illness and the finer points of management. I wanna hear about cytokines.”
Expressions of hopeful anticipation gave way to adulation and envy as the team worked to attach the bile ducts to the jejunum.
“Dang, don’t you ever wish you were out there generating differential diagnoses and giving medicine rather than sitting in this stupid OR doing surgery day after day?!” lamented Jacob Shtorner a fourth year surgical resident.
“I wanted to be a Rheumatologist back in medical school, but I just didn’t think I could handle the pressure and the lifestyle. You’ve gotta be gutsy to just go in there and start aspirating all kinds of joints and telling people they’ve got gout or lupus. They’re a bunch of cowboys. Surgery is a better fit for my personality,” said Chief Resident, Ashley Hestterm, M.D.
For now, they can only busy themselves with trying to get the last of that pesky pancreatic head mass out of the abdomen while they wait for the real work of medicine to be done.
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