My latest shift in the ED was made more awesomer than usual by the presence of some med students. Med students can be a mixed bunch. I'm not very keen on the ones who are both diligent and knowledgeable, because they often ask me questions that I don't know the answers to, which requires me to respond by crushing them like helpless ants. The ones who are neither diligent nor knowledgeable are also useless, because, well, they are useless. You can't effectively delegate anything to them because they'll either stuff it up or wander off because they saw something shiny.
I suppose that in theory there could be med students who are not diligent, but are knowledgeable. For a moment I was going to pretend that I was one, but that would be stretching the truth too far even for the interwebs. Which leaves the diligent but not knowledgeable students. Eeeeexcellent!
These are the guys you can send off to do stuff and they'll actually do a good job. Usually better than I will do, actually, at least in the sense that it will be more thorough. And as a special bonus, I often know how to answer their questions. And if I don't, they can't detect my bullshit. Or at least they aren't confident enough to call me on it, which is effectively the same as far as I'm concerned.
So it's great if you get the right students, because you get them to do all your work for you while you sit back on the couch eating bon-bons and sucking down all the Imperial Dust instant coffee you like. It's prudent to go and actually check the facts for yourself at some stage, but you still save a bunch of time. Presumably the students get something out of it as well. I have vague memories of being a student and having nothing but respect and admiration for the junior doctors who exploited my labour so ruthlessly - yes, that's it, respect and admiration. Made me the man I am today. And I'm sure the respect and admiration flowed in both directions, as it most surely does still.
Having said that, a couple of the student were total softcocks. One of them did a really good job of history taking and examination and writing up his notes, but I was shocked, SHOCKED, to discover later on that he had forgotten to list the patient's medications. Instead there was a forlorn empty paragraph beginning (and ending) with "Meds:" - it took me at least a minute to enter the patient's four medications there. Sheesh. Next time I see him I'll crush him like an ant. But not before I guilt trip him into buying me a coffee and giving me a footrub.
Another student was an even bigger softcock. She found out from the nursing note that the patient has tested positive for parainfluenza by her GP, and then didn't want to see that patient in case she got sick because she had exams coming up. In how long? Six weeks. Six. Weeks. If you don't recall, I actually gave birth to triplets DURING my med school exams while recovering from breaking the land speed record wearing sandpaper undies. Honestly, if you're going to get frightened of parainfluenza, maybe you need to rethink being a doctor. Or at least buy me a coffee and give me a footrub to make up for being such a softcock.
My day was lightened though, by the aforementioned patient. She said to me, "Parrot influenza? I don't have anything to do with birds!"