Saturday, October 1, 2011


 "It's rural America.  It's where I came from.  We always refer to ourselves as real America.  Rural America, real America, real, real America."
-Dan Quayle

I came into residency knowing that I was going to do a fellowship and go into academic EM, so I was not especially excited about being required to do two months of community EM.  The more that people kept talking about how great it would be for me to get to see "bread and butter" emergency medicine, the less excited I felt about it.  I don't like butter.  Never have.  Never will.

Well, I do like bread, and I do like working at Milford.  Nearly all of the attendings there are UMass grads, so they're familiar with our program and make great mentors.  They advised me to focus on seeing the types of patients I feel least comfortable with.  That means I have been focusing on eye complaints, peds and ortho since those are some of my weakest points. I've seen a bunch of patients with broken bones and helped with reductions. I saw a kid with scarlet fever, including the sandpaper rash and strawberry tongue. I saw a cool tox case. I've gotten to do some procedures and resuscitations.

There are other good things about working at Milford too.  One is that the shifts are mostly only eight hours instead of ten, and cleanup doesn't take as long at the end of the shift. I'm usually only running over the end of my shift by a half hour tops.  Another is that they give us a bunch of coupons for free meals, and we even have time during shifts to go down to the cafeteria and get food.  Plus, we don't have to discharge patients ourselves like we do at UMass; at Milford, the nurses do it.  But the best part is that I'm the only resident there during my shifts, and I can cherry pick which patients I want to see.  So, no pelvic exams for me this month! The only thing I don't like about this rotation so far is having to drive there and back every day. It's going to be an expensive gas month. 

One other thing about the town of Milford is that so many of the people there are native to this area of the country.  So I get plenty of people asking me where I'm from, even though MY English is accent-less.  My English is so accent-less, as a matter of fact, that I have to make an effort to control myself every time I hear someone speaking with a strong Masshole accent.  To a non-New Englander like me, that accent sounds too funny to be real.  It's funny to the point that I have been known to strike up conversations with random strangers on purpose, just so I can hear them talk.  It's not only the way they talk, either.  There is a sign on one of the printer paper trays in the Milford hospital ED that says, "Please close the draw gently." That is exactly how the locals pronounce the word "drawer."  No one to whom I have pointed out this phonetic spelling had ever noticed, and I still have no idea if it was done on purpose or not.  But it's wicked funny.

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