taking pediatrics call vs. running a marathon: a comparitive study

July 26, 2006

commonalities & parallels

1. both feel insurmountably long at the start, but short in retrospect

2. mile 20 hill = complicated 3 AM admission –> feelings of just . . . why???

3. realization that survival is possible at mile 24 = prerounding at 6 am the postcall day

4. desperate staggering at mile 25 to maintain pace = 9 AM attempt to prove lack of stupidity/incompetance to the attending on rounds

5. both contain a significant degree of risk of exposure to body fluids such as blood, vomit, or worse.

6. both seem to leave me wanting additional chances just so that i can improve on my performance, DESPITE clearly memorable pain. i know — i don’t get it, either.


1. races are more predictable than call

2. for me, marathons are a solitary battle, while call has many elements of team effort, and the people around you make all the difference.

3. babies are way cuter than runners and typically less sweaty.

i must say that i actually think i am going to love this rotation despite the unavoidable sleep deprivation. in fact, my apparent enthusiasm and excitement for it all is scaring me a little — HOW am i going to make this whole career decision? i really need one of these sub-Is to suck and be miserable so that i have a clear default career path. i have done such a good job ruling everything else out, either due to a) personal deficits or b) ambivalence/distaste:

all surgical fields, anesthesia: too procedural, among other problems
derm: too one-dimensional
ER: too rushed
ob/gyn: too rushed and too messy
optho: too weird
rad/onc: too hopeless
neuro: too hopeless and too weird
medicine: too many old people with trashed bodies and minds
family practice: same
radiology & path: too visual
anything else i forgot: either too boring (or else why would i forget it?) or too obscure.

if i could just add one more ‘too’ to psych or peds, this would be much easier. i suppose this is the final elimination round. i hope i win.

in other news, let’s take bets on how long it takes me to get sick from all these kids. i say 10 days.


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