It’s 6:30 pm and you’re just about to finish up evening rounds and head home for the day. However, your attending has seemed to have found his long-lost friend and is chatting it up about the recent vacation that he took. Five minutes pass, then ten. You’re standing there while the gunners grin and laugh at the lame jokes he’s telling about the small town he passed through. Wow, who gives a fuck?
So it’s now nearly 7 pm and you could’ve been home by now. Nothing pisses me off more than some asshole telling his personal stories on my time. Here’s a tip: Call your medicine buddy on the phone after we get finished with our work. Everybody’s happy and you still get to talk about your recent golf score.
What you don’t realize is that nobody really gives a fuck about your stories. We just want to get the hell out of the hospital where we’ve been for the last 14 hours. You may not have a life outside of medicine, but I do.
Unfortunately, this personal story-telling behavior is reinforced by all of the kiss-ass medical students and residents who pretend to care. They smile and nod, nod and smile. This keeps us all at the hospital as more stories are told and does nothing to get me out of there any earlier. If you simply do not offer any positive reinforcement, the attending will no longer engage in these story-telling sessions. Please, keep your nonverbal communication to yourself.
I propose we take it one step further and give the attending a swift kick in the nuts for each episode where he wastes one minute of my time. I feel that this will help to abate the personal story-telling behavior more swiftly than simply not offering positive reinforcement. Shit, I could be home by noon each day.