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.


  • Reply Anonymous July 26, 2006 at 12:50 pm

    Can we say, "pediatric psychiatry"?

  • Reply Bridgette July 26, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    Peds psych is a good call–we had a lecture second year about how desperate they were for more physicians in that field. She basically begged for people to give it a chance (I might, just to see. Who knows?). If they offer it as an elective, and you have time, you may want to check it out. Good luck on the sub-I and the marathon!

  • Reply A July 28, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    a difference between marathons and being a resident on call?You don't run a marathon everying f-ing three days.

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