An anonymous doctor reports from the front

Forget Scrubs, or even the late, lamented ER. If you want the real skinny on working in a modern American hospital, head over to Anonymous Doc.

Forget Scrubs, or even the late, lamented ER.

If you want the real skinny on working in a modern American hospital, head over to Anonymous Doc.

The author identifies himself (or herself) only as a "first-year internal medicine resident at a big-city hospital. Or not."

So this is either a real intern, or a great writer posing as one, because everything in this blog scans true. (And forget the picture for clues. It's Neil Patrick Harris as Doogie Howser, MD.)

Here's a post that reads like a Scrubs episode:

I'm tired. I'm seeing myself getting used to people dying, which is uncomfortable and scary and not the way I want to feel. But how can I avoid it? Death, in a hospital setting, is unfortunately routine. I don't want it to be, but already it's feeling like in a lot of cases, it's not even such a bad thing.

Here's a more intense piece that drew dozens of comments:

The patient has no signs of dementia, seems mentally competent.

The attending agreed to do what the son was asking. So now we're all calling this thing an "infection" and telling her the chemotherapy drugs are "antibiotics".

I find this appalling.

The comments can be as good as the posts. "Unequivocally ethically wrong" writes a British doctor about the decision not to tell the patient about her cancer. "My dad did this with my mom," someone quickly replied.

It's one of those great products of the Internet, something that couldn't possibly exist without it. For me it's a guilty pleasure, like a good book or a TV show like "Mad Men" I know I shouldn't like but can't keep from watching.

Check it out and see if you don't agree. And if this intern is reading this, you don't have to look at death ever again if you don't want to. After your residency is over, head to Hollywood. Your portfolio is done.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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