Before I trained in Radiology I was a Gen Med Registrar. This meant holding the On Call page. Somehow it was the call-the-doctor-with-any-question-completely-irrelevant-to-the-job page. Have a surgical problem or can’t find the On Call Orthopaedic? Page the Gen Med Registrar. Want to know where a patient is that isn’t even admitted under or referred to Gen Med? Page the Gen Med Registrar. It drove me nuts. Today, I discovered that the CT Abdo reporting desk phone is the departmental equivalent of the Gen Med Registrar back home in Australia. No radiologist at your site? Call CT Abdo! Need an angiogram that will be protocolled and reported by VIR? Call CT Abdo! Have an issue with an ICU patient that is having neuro, thoracic and abdo scans – where the abdo was just tacked on as an afterthought to the request and is the least important part of the scan? Call CT Abdo!
The annoying thing though wasn’t the interruptions of being needed. It was that by the time I was a Gen Med On Call I actually did know the answers to everything requested of me. Or I knew how to find out. Now I have no idea what the number is to get an outside line. I couldn’t even work the telephone. I needed to call a patient and switch wouldn’t even connect me to the “long distance” number. I needed a magical “code” to make the phone call. Moving overseas to work in a hospital in a completely different country is a dislocation. Every day you discover that skills and knowledge you took for granted have been reset.
Today was busy. Thankfully we relaxed this evening with Amy and Alon and ate dumplings and quinoa salad and apple pie, then played Cards Against Humanity. Last weekend’s snow has been melting and we can see the footpaths again. Pete and Royden gave us a Christmas card and present and Pete had even baked cookies! Life is good.