GruntDoc is one of the good guys and he is one of my favorites. His blog is full of interesting medical stories and posts about his family and his work. Plus, I love how he dresses up the title to his blog during the holidays. I only wish he’d write more essay-type posts, like his poignant “My Grandfathers’ Guns." (please)
Here’s my interview with GruntDoc:
Q.1 On one post, you wrote that according to LongtoLive, “I should die on Tuesday November 26, 2052 at 1:36:21 AM.”
What are you going to be doing on Monday, November 25, 2052, at 1:36:21 a.m.?
A: Changing my answers. [that’s no fair~MA]
Q.2 What was the last movie that you saw?
A: Cars. I really liked it. (Last night I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail on DVD, which was terrific. BTW, it seems nearly 98% of ER docs can quote lines for the Grail, way more than other specialties. Seems to be another self-selection thing).
A: NO. I’ll glove up, but I’m not removing my ring. I do make quite a show of waling into the patient’s room applying my skin-disinfectant, which I think is plenty.
Q.4 Charity Doc left the ER and is setting up a free medical clinic. 911DOC is looking for a new job. Scalpel needed a change from his “vampire” schedule. You have a stressful job with crazy hours. How do you avoid the burnout factor?
A: Who says I've avoided it? Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment, and the job is stressful, but I'll do it for a long time. I will say that how much stress you're willing to put up with has to do with your options; when I get closer to a retirement income I'll probably be less inclined to put up with some of the stresses.
Q.5 How did you and Mrs. GruntDoc meet?
A: She was the Assistant Lab Director where I got my BS and MS. We were engaged the summer before I started med school, with a plan to get married after I graduated. After the first 7 weeks, it was get married after the first two years. We got married New Years' Eve of my first year. Planning has always been one of my strong suits.
Q.6 When you posted the request for Match Day stories, you said “My Match Day story is a super-denouement, and is 14 years old, so I’ll not be adding it. For now.” After I looked up “denouement” in the dictionary, I thought that might make a good story. Can you tell us about it here or are you saving it for a post?
A: Eh. As Uncle paid for my med school, I was required to apply for a Navy Internship, which I got, and knew about well before all my colleagues matched. I was happy for them, and acutely aware our immediate futures would be different. Not bad, just different.
Q.7 What was the first job you ever had? Do you remember how you spent your first paycheck?
A: I was a dishwasher at Swenson's Ice Cream, for $3.10/hr (minimum wage). I have no recollection what I spent it on, but remember that I wasn't a very good employee.
Q.8 Do you have any pets?
A: One mutt cat. I've never had a dog, and a goldfish was the only other pet type I've had.
Q.9 I saw this question in a comment section and decided to steal it:
“How many true emergencies do you have on every shift of every day of every week? I think a lot of you would be out of work if you only had REAL emergencies come to the ER for treatment.”
A: The second part it true, but we'd be pretty darn happy with our jobs: it's the non-sick who can suck the joy out of the job.
Q.10 Three most favorite television shows of all time?
A: Star Trek reruns (Kirk and Spock), That 70's Show, and Scrubs.
Q.11 As part of my research (yes, research) on ER docs, I did a search on YouTube for “ER Docs” and found that quite a few people videotape their visits to the ER.
Has anyone ever asked you if they could videotape their experience with you?
A: I've had a lot of cellphone pics during suturing, nobody thought to ask if either I or the patient minded so far (it's always been friends of the patient doing it). I wouldn't like someone videotaping me on the job.
Q.12 How’s that “no coffee at work” thing going?
A: Better than I would have predicted. I can now focus better, my hand doesn't shake, and my BP is down. I smell coffee in the department, and curiously don't miss it much. I do have one cup in the morning, but that's it.
Q.13 When you shed your scrubs, what do you like to do for fun?
A: I read a lot of blogs, I spend time with my family, and I like to shoot at the range. It's my kind of personal entertainment: I have to focus, pay attention, and see how I'm doing immediately. I intend to get back on the bicycle when it warms up.
Q.14 Favorite cookie?
A: Peanut butter, with the fork crosshatches on the top.
Q.15 And what everyone wants to know, do you have any tattoos or piercings?
A: As I'm not a Pirate, I have no need for an earring. No tats, no piercings, just all me.
Q.16 I’m not going to ask you the usual scrub question. This time I want more information. Do you pay for your own scrubs? Do you have to wear a certain color? Do you always wear scrubs when you work? Do the bottoms always have to match the tops?
A: Scrubs are supplied, free, by the hospital, a reasonable light-blue color. We're not required to wear any particular color, but most of us just wear the ones supplied and washed by the hospital. I always wear scrubs, and a lab coat. As for wearing different color tops and bottoms, I'm not stylish enough to pull that off.
Thank you, GruntDoc, for being my Dr. December.