The luxury of time

One night last week, with not a whole lot going on, I strolled into the MICU to say hello to my friend Tom, who was working overnight. “Wanna go for coffee?” I asked. “Can’t,” he said, leaning against the nurse’s station. “Probably gonna code the lady in room five sometime in the next half hour.”

Whipping up hype

It’s been an exciting week here at Signout. Now that I am back from my unannounced sabblogtical (yeah, I made that up), I’ve tended to some much-needed housekeeping. To wit, the blogroll has been pruned of defunct and outdated links. Now you may futz around all up in the sidebar without fear. Futz, I say!

To my face

Last week, I got invited into my program director’s office for a little chat. My previous week’s attending had emailed him about a complaint made by a family with regard to the way I’d handled an event on the general pediatrics wards.

Throw some change

Yesterday, when I was on overnight call, something truly astounding happened: the hospital ran out of coffee. By which I mean, there was no coffee available all day, nor all night. To quote one of my favorite ScienceBloggers, what the fucking fuck?! Seriously, what kind of hospital runs out of coffee? Doesn’t that violate some…

Stand up straight

You know how, when you squint at a colorful tree, the borders disappear, and all the leaves merge together into one big mass of green? Turn that inside out, and you have my relationship with The Hospital. At times–especially difficult times–all the departments and interests and people in that place start to merge. Their demands…


Praise be, and hallelujah! That is all.

Any other name

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that my first name is Trixie. I spent most of my first year of residency introducing myself as “Trixie Signout, the junior resident on the team.” I got called “nurse” a lot, then started introducing myself as “Dr. Trixie Signout.” I wanted people to feel comfortable calling me…

Together forever

I love to cook. I have a blog. Today, and probably a few more times in the future, I will post about cooking on my blog. Questions, concerns, and hangups may be directed to the management. I once had a friend who didn’t understand the fetishization of chocolate. He so resented its common acceptance as…

Formidable and noisy

“What I want you to do,” I said, “is breathe in deep, then blow it all out like you’re blowing out birthday candles.” He focused his eyes in concentration and blinked a few times, then did as I’d said, aiming for the finger I held in front of him. I listened to his back with…

Change my story

A few months ago, a new patient walked into my clinic at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon. She was a fiftyish woman who had recently moved to the area from a different state. On the plane ride up, she had developed a fever and cough, and the day after arrival, had been admitted to…