dr-fizzy

Dr. Fizzy

Freida McFadden is a midwestern physician who has finally finally finally come to the end of her grueling medical training, and at last she has enough time to publish the wealth of cartoons she's created over the years. If you enjoy them, please comment. If you don't enjoy them, then you can just keep your fool mouth shut. Read the rest at Doccartoon.blogspot.com, and make sure to check out her books, A Cartoon Guide To Becoming A Doctor, and The Devil You Know, on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/Cartoon-Guide-Becoming-Doctor/dp/1105091023

Why I Didn’t Do Emergency Medicine

When you get to your fourth year of medicine, there are a lot of different paths you can take and each one probably would change your life entirely. This entry is about why I didn’t do emergency medicine. If people like this entry, I can talk about other fields I was considering as well. EM has a lot of awesome things about it, and in many ways would have been a perfect field for me. I really love procedures. I work quickly. The hours are very reasonable. The pay is great. Here’s why I didn’t do EM: 1) For some reason, I really hate shift work. I like having a specific amount of work to do and know that I can leave when I finish it. Looking at a clock makes me physically ill. 2) I can’t sleep when the sun’s out. I’m like a reverse vampire. Or a human being. Anyway, those night shifts aren’t going to work for me. 3) I actually like continuity of care a lot. I even like the annoying patients when I get to see them continuously and build a relationship. 4) If there’s some new horrible killer virus out there, who’s going to get exposed first? Certainly not the physiatrist. 5) Although I like the idea of knowing everything about everything, I realize that it’s actually impossible. And that would eventually make...

Why I Didn’t Do Psychiatry

In some ways, psychiatry is sort of similar to PM&R. For one thing, psychiatry and physiatry sound really similar. They are both pretty laid back, have good hours, not too competitive, great pay. When my psychiatry rotation started and the hours were 8 to 5 with weekends off, I thought, “Hey, I could get used to this.” I thought most of the psychiatrists I worked with were really cool. And there was an abundance of great stories. I was never bored on my psych rotation. And I actually had a knack for it, I think. So what went wrong? 1) I like procedures and psychiatry is one field where you really don’t get to do any procedures. 2) My father is a psychiatrist and told me repeatedly, “Don’t become a psychiatrist.” 3) I don’t know if I believe in a lot of the medical interventions psychiatrists do. Unlike physiatrics interventions like TENS units, which are, of course, rigorously supported by randomized controlled trials. 4) Maybe it’s because it was my first rotation, but I just found psychiatry really sad. I remember calling my mother crying one night because I felt sorry for my patients. I suspect I would have gotten over this though. 5) When I was on my psychiatry rotation, I spent much of the rotation scared that I was going crazy. Actually, #5 was probably my most...

Why I Didn’t Do Dermatology

I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I had good grades and scores in med school, although not freaking awesome. So it seems like the reason I didn’t do dermatology should be obvious: I wasn’t freaking awesome. And that’s what you need to be to match in derm these days. But between you and me, I actually did have a possible opportunity to do derm. My cousin is a big cheese dermatologist and assured me multiple times that he’d get me a residency spot if I wanted it. I don’t know if this was a true offer, but needless to say, I didn’t take him up on it. It was tempting, for sure. Dermatologists make good money and have a great lifestyle. I like procedures and dermatologist get to do lots of those. Part of the reason I didn’t try was because of location (yet again), but there were some other reasons: 1) I looked at the people in my class who matched in derm and I thought about those people being my colleagues for the rest of my life, and I felt ill. 2) I felt that as a dermatologist, the pressure to have perfect skin would be too intense, and would cause me to break out. 3) I have a slight inherited tremor in my hands that I worry might get worse with age and keep me...

Why I Almost Didn’t Do PM&R (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)

I’ve been doing this series for a while and somebody requested I do one for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Considering I did PM&R, it’s hard to write a post about why I didn’t do it. But then again, I matched in another field initially, so I could explain my original thinking process. I did a rotation in PM&R during October of my fourth year, which was just a little too late. I liked it a lot. I liked the pace, I liked the types of patients, I liked the procedures, and I thought all the attendings were really nice and laid back. I noticed the residents got to go home when they were on call and worked very reasonable hours. Again, it was mostly about location for me. There was only ONE PM&R program in the area where I wanted to live to be near my husband, so that limited my choices significantly. And even if I matched at that program, I was worried about finding a prelim spot in that region. But here are a few other reasons why I initially decided against Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. I am basing this on an actual pro/con list that I made during my fourth year: 1) Can be kind of boring, at least on the inpatient side. On inpatient rehab, things move slowly and there’s a lot of documentation involved....

Why I Didn’t Do Pediatrics

I love kids. In college, my advisor was a pediatrician, because I thought that’s what I wanted to be. When I was in medical school, I was the co-President of the pediatric club. During third year, I scheduled pediatrics to be my third rotation because that’s the order in which you’re supposed to do the field that you’re interested in. (You don’t want to do it too early because then you’ll look like an idiot, but not too late in case you hate it and change your mind.) I’m not a pediatrician. So what happened? Here’s why I decided against pediatrics: 1) I spent my whole damn rotation sick with URIs and GI bugs. 2) Really sick kids make me desperately sad, to the point where even doing a practice question about a child with cancer ruined my whole day. 3) I am really, really bad at looking in screaming baby ears. And that’s like half of what pediatricians do. 4) I found medicine involving non-sick kids to be really boring. Strep throat? Boring. Rashes? Boring. Otitis media? Boring. 5) Parents = mega aggravating. (Of course, now I deal with adult children, which are also mega aggravating.) 6) When I saw a cute baby, I mostly just wanted to play with the baby, kiss him all over his cute little pudgy face, and then go home and make lots...

Why I Don’t Wear Scrubs

Some of the nurses at work were talking about a sale on scrubs.  I was listening in, because I only have one pair of scrubs that I wear on call and they’re awful.  The top is so big that it could be a dress on me. Nurse: “Actually, I’ve never seen you in scrubs, Dr. McFizz.  You never wear them!” They pointed out that a few of the other doctors do sometimes wear scrubs during 9-5 business hours, but some of us don’t.  Here’s why I don’t: When I was an intern, I worked at a county hospital, serving a very poor population.  Intern year is hard, and I wanted nothing more than to live my life in scrubs–basically, nonstop pajamas.  But our program director said to us, “You know, these patients may be very poor and not speak English, but they should be treated with respect. And that means they deserve a doctor who is well dressed.” Some of the other interns wore scrubs every day anyway, but I didn’t.  On non-call days, I wore “nice” clothes. Those words really stuck with me, even now, over ten years later.  I feel like it’s more respectful to dress in nice clothes when I see patients. You can find Dr. Fizzy’s newest book, The Devil You Know on Amazon. Read an excerpt here. She’s got a great job at a VA Hospital,...

The Devil You Know: A Day In The Doctor’s Office

An excerpt from Dr. Fizzy’s new book: The Devil You Know, available now! “Jason Burnham?” I call out. A man in his late twenties rises reluctantly to his feet. Damn, he’s handsome—he’s got a soldier’s solid build with firm muscles lining his arms and visible under his T-shirt. I can tell by the look on Mr. Burnham’s face that he isn’t terribly thrilled that I’m the one who’s going to be examining his testicles. I’m sure he’d prefer a male doctor. Still, I think it’s melodramatic the way he acts like a man being led to the electric chair as I take him to the newly cleaned examining room. “Mr. Burnham,” I say to him. “My name is Dr. McGill. Would you please change into a gown for me?” Jason Burnham nods miserably. Examining testicles is not my forte. I’ve gotten better at it since my patient population has become primarily male, but I’m nowhere near as good at that as I am at, say, finding the cervical os. Testicles just seem so… delicate. Obviously. But I’m getting better. As far as I can tell, the key to doing a good testicular exam is not accidentally saying something dirty during the exam, which is extra challenging when your patient is so damn attractive. I’m going to work on that today. I return to Mr. Burnham, who is now sitting miserably...