On an ER rotation -- which she thought should have been the most exciting rotation of all -- this med student knew more than ever that she wanted to form long-term relationships with patients through the practice of primary care.
By Jennifer Stella, M.D.
As a third-year med student, I was doing an ER shift when the call came through our dispatch: 56-year-old man, status epilepticus
, being flown in from Yosemite, 10 minutes out. I watched the residents snap into a semi-ordered chaos. Ten crucial minutes. Prepping the trauma bay. Anticipating acute management, who was going to do it, half-tying the yellow paper gowns. Anyone who had looked tired didn’t anymore.
We raced in the elevator to the roof. Helicopter. Residents, attendings, me. The airlift paramedics I’d come to know by face, name, and the way they ran. Patient transferred, team moving in formation with the stretcher, bag masking and rushing downstairs to rapid-sequence intubate, medicate, and try to save him. It’s the stuff TV shows are made of.
And I was bored.