When I was in residency training I used to imagine how fantastic being a consultant must be, specially when I had to call one to endorse a patient. I was sweaty, stinky, and totally nanlilimahid in the middle of the ER, while the consultant at the other end of the line must be comfortably having dinner in his majestic house, watching a movie, or having sex. But for some reason my default image was that the consultant was on the couch, feet up on the table, drinking beer, living room lights off, watching PBA.
Now that I’m on that side of the phone line, it is apparently not so easy after all. I have to give orders on the basis of the resident’s history and physical exam, and I sometimes wish I could teleport and do the PE myself. Fortunately the residents in the hospitals where I’m affiliated with are quite fantastic, and I’m not just saying that because I’m their resident coordinator ha ha ha. Although it’s more challenging when the hospital doesn’t have an internal medicine training program.
My most embarrassing endorsement experience happened a few years ago while I was washing my clothes in the washing machine. The resident’s endorsement was quite long, and I couldn’t just tell him to speed it up because the patient sounded critical. As he droned on and on I got totally bored so I stepped on a horizontal metal post that was elevated from the ground by about a foot, which served as the base of this contraption where we hang our clothes. While listening on the phone I walked along the metal post, bouncing myself on it a bit, like a pretend-gymnast. Of course, the contraption was decades old, and it broke. As I fell on the ground I screamed a guttural “PUKE!”
“Sir? Sir? Are you ok?”
“Yes! Yes! Agree with all your orders,” was all I could say. “Agree with all your orders! Carry out!”
I was able to finish rounds quite early today. I planned on watering the plants, luckily it rained, saving me the effort. Although nobody seems to care anymore, we still decided to look for an al fresco place to eat, and there is no bigger al fresco than the UCC Garden Cafe in front of Makati Shang. There was quite a breeze, and as my face was assaulted by the wind I was suddenly reminded of Miss Janet Tyler. In the CLASSIC Twilight Zone episode “Eye of the Beholder”, Miss Janet Tyler ran to the window, and said something like “I can feel the wind on my face!” Need to watch that so I can quote more accurately, but once I start watching an episode I won’t be able to stop myself until I’ve marathoned the whole damn thing.