Thursday, July 19, 2012

The 5 Types of Trauma Patients

   I only have one more week of trauma surgery left, and I am counting down the days.  I haven't posted anything about my experiences yet, but that isn't because I don't have anything to say.  Rather, I have a LOT to say, but I'll feel a bit more comfortable saying it after I get my official surgery clerkship grade.  After all, this is a public blog and you never know who reads these things.
   Long story short: let's just say I am miserable on this rotation.  This is the first time EVER that I have doubted my decision to go into medicine.  I'm really hoping that GI surgery will be better.  If not, at least I have OB/Gyn next, which hopefully will be a pick-me-up!

   Anyway, something funny I noticed is that there are about 5 types of trauma patients.  99% of patients on our service fall into one of the following categories:

1) "Old man river" or frail old lady who trips over their cat/carpet/feet/etc

2) Intoxicated person riding their bike who gets hit by a car

3) Person in a car accident (often involves someone being intoxicated or running from the police)

4) Adrenaline-seeking young man who gets injured on his ATV/watersport jump/other dare-devil activity

5) Man with too much testosterone (and/or drugs/alcohol on board) who gets punched/shot/stabbed

*** We also saw about 4 people who got injured by a horse (some variation of getting kicked/stomped/thrown off) in the span of a week.  Who knew so many people ride horses around here?!


  1. I'm sorry this rotation has been so rough for you! But I'm sure you have no reason to doubt being a doctor because you've enjoyed nearly everything else so far. Also, your post reminded me of a blog post I reference often when I think about female characters, specifically because of this bit:

    "Need a character to do something dangerous/flamboyantly stupid and risky? Men, especially young men, are great for that (when I worked in a medical examiner's office, the young men who came in fell overwhelmingly into one of two categories. Their last words were either, "You motherfucker --!" or "Hey, guys, watch THIS!")."

    That pretty much covers numbers 4 and 5, no? :p

  2. We keep a spare trauma pager in the student lounge, and when it goes off we like to play "guess what happened"... 99% if you said "Level 2, 85 year old fall from standing" you'd be right.

    You can do it!!!!!!! I think every med student goes through the "why did I choose to do this again?" phase... lord knows I did... hopefully you'll enjoy other services more, and if not, I can't wait to hear about your time on ob/gyn!!

  3. Oh my goodness, this post brings back so many memories! Hang in there! Make sure you do a radiology rotation before you make your residency decision! ;)

  4. I feel your pain. At my institution, the popular story on trauma surgery is "I was minding my own business when someone stabbed/shot/assaulted me or I fell on a knife/vibrator/toilet plunger/etc."

  5. As far as I can tell, people either love or hate their surgery rotations and same goes for ob/gyn! But I wouldn't let that make you swear off of medicine for good :P

    That is too funny about the five types of trauma patients. And wounds?

  6. Hang in there lady! Maybe we should have a hospital rendezvous one of these days.