It’s Monday morning and every medic here knows it is usually general re-evaluation day (La Grande Ronde)! All treatment and records of the weekend are to be reviewed and a comprehensive summary done for each patient.

Dr.Y is the only doctor in the unit at that moment and was very grateful for the presence of medical students though few. So the sixth-year student goes about examining his patient and the doctor asks for the presenting complain. “Difficult breathing few hours after delivery” he replies. “Type of delivery?” “Vaginal delivery”, “Cry at birth?” “Yes”.
The mother was still at the clinic where delivery had been done. So Dr.Y finishes up with the other patients and students just in time for rounds. The general supervisor (G.S) of the unit is re-evaluating each patient. The dear baby is re-evaluated and seems in perfect health ?. Once again the question of presenting complain. “Difficult breathing few hours after delivery yesterday”. What was the method of delivery? “Caesarean section” the Aunty of the baby answered. Oh My!!! The G.S. is extremely displeased with the choice of treatment for this 2-day-old newborn whose symptoms completely resolved within 24 hours after delivery. I guess you must have concluded as well it was Transient tachypnea of the newborn. GS is disappointed that Dr.Y didn’t get it right?. Dr.Y is simply dumbfounded at the misguidance from his junior.

No one can really replace you in reviewing your patient. Direct interrogation of patient or carer would generally still be necessary, even when previously done by another on team.
Sure you can relate… Share and air your mind here or inbox. No hard feelings?. Practice makes perfect. You are definitely not alone?.

NB: Transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN) results from delayed absorption of fetal lung fluid following delivery. The disorder is commonly observed following birth by cesarean delivery. It is a self-limited disease commonly seen in neonates throughout the world. (Definition  source: Medscape)

6 responses to “A doctor-intern challenge  ”

  1. TetuAl avatar

    Ahahahhahah. I can relate to this. I once consulted a patient who changed the version of her medical history when the supervisor came around. Luckily the supervisor knew me enough to know the lady wasn’t being honest. She scolded at the patient, warning her no to disregard the student I was today because tomorrow I will be a Doctor. The patient apologized later and I learnt a lesson.

    1. admin avatar

      I know some supervisors say “Le patient ne ment jamais!”(The patient never lies)?
      You understand that sweat is not only produced in a heated room?.
      I guess many of us have a whole bag of stories. Let’s keep sharing. Some patients too have had it hot ehh…??‍♀️

  2. MBANGE Minette avatar
    MBANGE Minette

    Hahahaha these things eh. When the patient isn’t happy with you…
    One time in the postpartum ward as a medical student after taking time to do postpartum counseling as lengthy as it can be, when the Prof came for general rounds the patient said ‘Professeur elle ne ma rien dit’ . Come and see the punch the Prof gave the resident

  3. MBANGE Minette avatar
    MBANGE Minette

    Indeed no one can replace you in reviewing patients. It is a habit I am really working on and I intend to keep it. Thank you for the write up

  4. Daniela avatar

    ???? This is so relatable. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve witnessed a patient change vital information…at critical moments.
    I’m also learning to interview better and refrain when I’m not sure about a particular aspect of my interview. If I happened not to enquire about the delivery route, I’ll rather say so than take a chance at guessing?

    Interesting read. Thank you!

  5. admin avatar

    ??Interesting stories in the comments. Thanks for reading through.

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A doctor-intern challenge