Lakshmi Krishnan, "Almost" MD

Lakshmi Krishnan is a writer and medical student living in Baltimore. Enough said. You can contact her at[at]

Wild Worries of a Med Student

I lost my pager a few weeks ago. For most, the pager is a vestigial apparatus from the days before mobile phones, wireless, and permanent connectivity. But there was a dark time, not so long ago, when pagers were the only handheld device that worked in hospitals. Those black blocks managed to transmit signals, traveling, like Buzz Lightyear, to infinity and beyond. In some basement corridors, they still outperform iPhones, Blackberries, and possibly landlines. Imagine a flamingo without the pink, an elephant without its trunk, or a toilet without toilet paper. That’s a medical student without its pager. At first, I was resigned. I informed all and sundry, “dude, I lost my pager.” At first, it was refreshing. But soon, I became persona non grata on my team… the annoying person who had to be contacted through email or patchy 4G. I felt like a puppy without a leash. A few weeks in, it was becoming evident that I could not continue like this. In fact, it was blatant that I had neglected to replace my pager. The place where my pager used to be mocked me. It haunted my right pocket like a mournful ghost. I constantly reached for the phantom and made contact with air. Air and a hollow plastic case, clipped to my white coat, empty and silent. My phone dropped texts when I wandered the subterranean hospital...