To Be Surprised
After two months of loitering around and doing outpatient work, I started a floor rotation last week. For those who don't know, floors are used to refer to wards and a floor rotation means inpatient work, or, in my case, inpatient pediatrics. I am in charge of a team of five people, plus or minus a few medical students, and together we take care of all the children admitted to the general pediatric unit. Sometimes we also take care of kids in the ICU. It's an exhausting rotation. The day starts at seven and ends around the same time in the evening and in those twelve or so hours you are pretty much on your feet all the time, taking admissions, speaking with parents, coordinating care between the specialists and the general physicians, teaching the residents and students, following up lab results, planning discharges and home care. It tires me even as I'm writing about it right now.
Last week, in addition to my supervisory work on the floors, I had a couple of presentations to give to the interns. I was working even longer than normal, first on the floors and then later on in the library, preparing for my talks. By Friday morning, when I was done with the second discussion, I was completely drained. As we were walking out of the conference room, one of the attendings stopped me.
"Hi, KK!" she said. "This is for you."
She handed me a small shopping bag.
"Iftaar Mubarak!" she smiled.
There was a box of food inside the bag.
"Thanks, Dr Andrews!"
"My niece made some biryani. I thought you'd like some for your iftar tonight."
"Thank you, ma'am. It's very kind of you." I was too surprised to say anything.
Later that day, I went into the physicians' lounge and shared the story with one of the other residents. He grinned when he heard this.
"Yeah, she's great," he told me. "A few years ago, when Ramadan was in winter, I was going into clinic one afternoon when I noticed Dr Andrews sitting in her car eating. I thought it was a little strange so I asked her about it later that day. She said that, because some of the residents were fasting, she thought it was be disrespectful to eat in front of them. So she ate her lunch in the car before coming in to work."