You know you have done a lot of dictations when…

Today I did something super embarrassing.

I had been doing dictations.  For those of you who aren’t forced to articulate their correspondence in this archaic form, this requires you also stating your punctuation (because stuff like that isn’t obvious to the lovely folks who sit and listen and type it).   That means, you actually say “comma” or “period” and things like “new paragraph.”

If you have ever done a dictation, you know they are an acquired skill.  You feel so stupid at first saying these things and it takes twice the time to get all your thoughts out in a semi-organized form than it would to type. And then, you see the typed form and you realize how stupid you probably did sound.

It does get better, but I would love to do a randomized controlled trial regarding whether or not dictating is more efficient and accurate.  I am sure experience is a factor.  And tech savvy-ness.  But, it stuck for a reason, I suppose.

Anyway, I did a few dictations and then there was a small disaster on the floor that required me to make some frantic phone calls.  That is fine.  Then, I realized I wanted to cancel one of the procedures I had requested an hour before based on the turn of events.

I made a call, which went to after-hours voicemail that went something like this (with my verbal punctuation bolded):

Hi, this is Trisha _____, the resident on BMT calling regarding patient X.  I had spoken with someone earlier regarding getting a line replaced on John Doe tomorrow morning period.  As it turns out, we do have good access comma so we will just remove the old line and get in touch again should we need something else placed in the future peri… Agh.  Sorry.  Thanks, bye.

So embarrassing throwing random punctuation into a voice mail, then kind of apologizing.  I wish they wouldn’t laugh at me.  But if they do, I hope I at least brightened their day with my stupidity.

Confession from a young d-word

It is the first Monday of the month, so it is Medical Monday.  If you are medical or related in some way, it is a fabulous link up to meet others in the medical world.  Check out their posts for all kinds of interesting topics!

Confession:  I feel uncomfortable telling people what I do for a living.

Actually, I am fine with telling people I am a medical resident in radiation oncology.  I am fine with telling people I am a wife.  

Image from

I am not fine with telling people I am a doctor.  Because rightly or wrongly, I find it awkward.

Even though I talk about it on this blog all the time.  Because that is part of the purpose of me writing is to talk about adventures in medicine.

Maybe it is an internal inferiority complex (or superiority complex).   I am not old enough/smart enough/experienced enough.  But, I think it is more the pressure that comes from society.    

I just don’t want people to see me primarily as a doctor.  I just want to be Trisha, Patrick’s wife.  Or so and so’s friend.  Or my parents’ daughter. 

I am probably paranoid.

But, people ooh and ah at medical school.  And I get that it is something that a lot of people don’t get to do.  I get that it is a big deal.  But, for me… For us, it is normal.  I don’t want people to act like it is a big deal.  I don’t want them to ignore that it is tough, but I don’t need people to talk about it.

Most people don’t act differently around me.  Most people.   And why should they?  But, some then assume we have a ton of money, or that I can answer their health questions in the middle of the party, or that we can go anywhere we want to work.  And I get that some of it is just not knowing someone who has gone through it before or whatever.  And most of it is under the best of intentions.  But, some of it edges on rude or ignorant (strong words… yes, but that is what passes through my head sometimes when I get hammered with a ton of assumptions in weird places).  And those edges kill me a bit, so I prefer to avoid them.

I know my family is proud of me.  That my husband thinks it is cool to tell people his wife is a doctor.  That sometimes it is useful to mention.  That it is normal to talk about your job in a conversation.

So, I shouldn’t be quite so weird about it.

To me, a job is just a piece of a person.  It doesn’t define a person.  In medicine, it becomes a big chunk of a person because you invest so much in it.  But, that doesn’t make it extra special.

For some people, they think it does.  It makes me crazy when people define themselves by pointing out to everyone that they are in med school or that they are a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher to everyone they meet.

I feel like telling people I am a doctor is bragging.  That I am saying “Look at me, I have been in school for a million years and I am book smart.”  I don’t want to brag.

I avoid it like the plague.  I answer if I am directly asked.  But, a lot of the time, I find myself just saying I work at the hospital.  All of my credit cards still say Mrs.  I don’t throw a Dr. in front of my name except in desperate situations.  And I get mortified when other people do.

I shouldn’t be embarrassed about who I am.  But, I am embarrassed about how other people respond sometimes. 

I don’t want my husband to be a doctor’s husband.  I want him to be Patrick.  I want mail to be addressed to our married last name as a couple.  Not Dr. and Mr..  Sure, professional stuff is one thing.  But, otherwise, I am just Trisha.

I understand if you are proud or excited.  But, understand that for me, it is still weird and scary and I am happy being just me and not pointing out my job or accomplishments in everyday life.  Understand that it can make things weird for me sometimes.  Understand that it can make things weird for others sometimes.

What some people seem to see when I walk in a room.

I will hopefully get over it a bit more as I grow up in my job.

Plus, when I grow up a bit, maybe I can stop hauling out the doctor as a weapon to get people to listen to me late at night on call in the hospital when they think I am just a kid.

But, I hope that I never define myself solely by my job title.  I hope that I never lose that I am a wife and a daughter and a friend first.  And I hope that I never make people feel as awkward as I have at times (although I am sure I have already failed there before).