Posted 4/04/12 on The Doctor Weighs In
I had a chance to “moonlight” in the internal medicine “drop-in” clinic at the Kaiser Medical Center in San Francisco while I was finishing my residency and endocrinology fellowship at UCSF. I was superbly trained in in-patient care and there was no IV or PA line that I couldn’t put in with my eyes closed. I was comfortable taking care of really sick people and thrived on complex, acute cases. I knew how to work up a VIPoma (vanishingly rare endocrine tumor), but, I didn’t know how to treat a paronychia (a skin infection around the nails) and I was bored silly by colds and sore throats – the run of the mill cases that filled up the Kaiser clinic. I used to daydream about building a machine that would grab (gently) the patient by the neck, insert a throat swab, and then spit out a prescription for penicillin. Nine years of training for this! What a waste of all that training!