No. 15: My patient tried to kill himself

7 minute read- Intern year: “NO! Please don’t! PLEASEEEEE!” came the blood curdling scream of a 16-year-old girl. She was shaking and crying in anticipation of pain, and I couldn’t blame her: the resident taking care of her was about to pull off her fingernail in order to drain a collection of pus in the tip …

No. 14: My patient threw up all over me

7 minute read-Intern Year: I liked her right away. She was in her early 30s, chocolate-skinned with a wide playful smile, and wasn’t afraid to wear her purple bonnet around the hospital without shame. She reminded me of home (ATL, that is!); thick southern accent, kind to everyone that worked with her, while simultaneously sporting …

No. 12: My attending said I’m a waste of talent

5 Minute Read-Intern Year: “Oyetewa, please follow me to my office,” my attending (aka my boss) said, her back already turned to me as she walked down the hallway. She was a 5’2” brown-skinned woman with long, jet black hair, and a persistently unsmiling face. I had been working with her for two weeks in …

No. 10: My patient was abandoned by her family

7 Minute Read-Intern Year: “The problem is… you don’t have enough sex,” said my patient as I helped her back into bed. “ExCUSE me?!” I spurted incredulously, watching her as she chuckled. She was an 80-something-year-old, spunky, olive-toned woman with silvery white hair she wore in a long braid down her back. She demanded I …

No. 9: The time my patient used me to get high

7 Minute Read-Intern Year Day 105: “Wait, what room is he in?” “Seriously, I’ll just walk by the room and peek in, no harm done!” “He’s probably not even that cute.” A few of my co-interns were joking with me about a patient I was about to admit from the emergency department. We had heard …

No. 7: The time I wore a crop-top to work

4 Minute Read-Intern Year Day 85: “Honestly, doc, I’m not answering any more questions this morning. You can go,” an ornery 60-something-year-old patient said to me with a dismissive wave of his hand. I usually tried to mirror my patients’ body language and tone to build rapport, but this morning I had probably come in …

No. 6: The first time I told a patient he had cancer

6 Minute Read-Intern Year Day 70: There is a particular patient I remember more vividly than most. We’ll call him Mr. K. He was a dark brown man in his early fifties, his thick beard speckled with silver hairs. He had a heart warming smile. His wife was at his bedside every single time I …