Saturday, 16 April 2011

Residents and Slavic Sex Slaves.

Now I'm not a resident yet. I'm still an intern and as much as I love bitching and whining about the work, the hours or the lifestyle, life as an intern is pretty awesome. You're not responsible for any fuck-up, whether its your fault or not, and soon as the clock marks the end of your shift, you are done. No one can file a complaint and if they do, you can make up any excuse and people will buy it. In other words, if you have serious homicidal tendencies and totally never want to get caught killing a patient, bear 6 years in med school and rest assured you'll have free reign to do whatever you want come your internship.

Residents however aren't so lucky. You see, the difference is that a resident is, for lack of a better word, in charge of the ward he's assigned. He needs to know every case by heart, do everything his senior wants him to do (the seniors being older residents and actual professors) and amidst all this try to learn and excel as a doctor. If for any reason he cannot hold his shit together, he's not going to make it through the residency. The reasons are plenty. For starters, you need the professor (whose ass you must constantly kiss) to sign off on you at the end of your residency. And they can be fickle, annoying sons of bitches (not all the time though thank God)

So this isn't my story. This is my friend's story because he's just started his residency here at the Kasr. And he decided to choose the second hardest field in the entire hospital : Cardiothoracic Surgery. Now, it's not hard because the surgeries are arduous and long. It's hard because that's the way it is in the Kasr; the residents get hazed and put under extreme stress (because that's what happened to the residents before them and so on and so forth) I don't particularly know why, but I can imagine that sometime long ago, a douchebag was in charge and his legacy continues (simply because no one questions it).

Now let's start from the beginning. It was the day the top 200 graduated interns get turns deciding who wants what residency. My friend (who I'm going to call Dr. Friend because I'm that original) hadn't slept in 2 days freaking out over what to choose. It's a huge decision and it's not one that can be unmade. Once you officially pick what you want, you're stuck with that residency unless you quit and choose something in the academics (or the gayer side of medicine). His mind was set. It was his turn to get on the podium in the conference room.
"My name is Dr. Friend and I choose Cardiothoracic Surgery."
He felt elated. Huge burden gnawing at his back just disappeared. The choice had been made and there was no going back on it. There was a sort of serene peace in his mind. After the conference was over, he walked outside breathing in that fresh polluted air of Egypt, anticipating how amazing his bed's going to feel in just a few minutes. He was stopped short when an older cardiothoracic resident (a colleague of Dr. Friend as well) congratulated him and said,
"Congratulations Friend. I know its a tough field but you'll do great. Now here's the thing. Here's the number of the Professor in charge. He's expecting a call in an hour. Call him. Preferably in 59 minutes because this conversation's already taken a minute."
My friend was naive, thinking "Okay maybe this person just wants to talk to me and congratulate me."
He waited out the 59 minutes and called. No answer. He called again. No answer. I even joked with him and told him maybe that was part of the test; to see how many times he'd call as a show of loyalty. He called again  and there was still no answer so he went home.

Soon as he got home, his phone rang. It was the professor.
"Hello Dr. Friend. Congratulations on choosing Cardiothoracic. Obviously, I don't need to tell you how hard it is. You've heard the stories and you're obviously more than prepared for what's to come. Anyways, tomorrow. 8 am sharp. My office. Okay? Oh, and another thing. Bring a set of clothes because you won't be going home."

I need to interject here and say something. My friend here technically isn't OFFICIALLY a resident yet. They 
get a couple of weeks off before they OFFICIALLY become residents. Anyways back to his conversation.

"Oh thank you sir. Would it be okay though if I came a bit later in the afternoon? I haven't slept in 3 days because of the stress of choosing and everything."
".............................Right of course. I totally understand... I'm going to see you tomorrow at 8 am."
"Yes sir."
"Don't forget your clothes."
"I won't sir."

This was 4 days ago. My friend has spent a total of about 7 hours in those 4 days in his own house (which luckily is very close by). I've been hanging out with him and experiencing a bit of what his life's like so I'm sure this won't be the first post regarding Dr. Friend (who I'll hopefully have a better nickname for by then).

A wise resident once told us, "Being a junior cardiothoracic resident is just like getting raped so much, that you start to think there's something wrong when you're not getting fucked in the ass."
Wise words from wise people.
I hope my friend makes it, with minimal damage to his anus of course.


  1. I love all your stories! As weird as this sounds, you make medicine actually soon cooler xD

  2. looooooooolllll, our poor 'friend', i feel sorry for him now, take back all the shit i said about him over the years