Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Panicked

So.  As part of my current Ambulatory care rotation, there is also a Radiology course mixed on in, most of which we are supposed to do on our own/online, but we also have four Fridays of lectures, small groups, etc.  

This past Friday, as in two days ago, we were all assigned a radiology resident to shadow for the morning before returning to the main campus for lectures the rest of the day.  I had emailed my resident the day before, giving her a heads-up that I was coming, and when and where would she like me to meet her?  She wrote back, saying, okay, come to the Executive Park Hospital campus and I will meet you in the lobby at 8:30am.  So I wrote back, great, see you tomorrow at 8:30, and by the way, here is my phone number.

She didn't respond.

But no big deal, I had been to the Exec Park location before, so I thought I knew where I was going.  8:30.  Lobby.  Not a problem.  I even looked up "Emory Radiology" and looked up their different locations just to be sure.  Yep, same place I was thinking of.  

Ok, so Friday morning rolled around.  I drove to Executive Park and got there early, which never happens.  (It was like 3 minutes early, but whatever, it totally counts.)  I went into the lobby, and sat down to wait.  And wait.  Aaaaaand wait.  

It took a while before I started to get nervous, because residents are busy people, you know.  After I had been there for about half an hour, though, I started to worry.  What if this wasn't the right place?  45 minutes in, I was sure that it wasn't.  I was also sure that I had messed up.  Crap!!  The resident had probably waited for me in the place I was actually supposed to be, and I hadn't shown up, and I hadn't called to let her know because I didn't have her number, and I hadn't emailed because I didn't have a smart phone and basically no way to get in touch with her.  And I was definitely going to be in trouble, and I was obviously a terrible medical student.  

I went back to the parking lot to get my laptop out of my trunk and went to find a wireless location.  Signed into my email, to see if the resident had sent any message.  Nothing.  I was really sweating by now.  It was almost 10, and we were supposed to have spent close to four hours with our residents by the time we had to be back to Emory for lectures.

I finally decided that the morning was a lost cause, that I would just have to get in touch with the clerkship director and apologize, explain what had happened, and figure out a time for me to make it up.

But I also decided that I had HAD it with my inability to communicate like the rest of the medical world, and that the solution to this problem, in order to avoid ever messing up this way again, was to drive straight from Executive Park to the Verizon store.

And buy an iPhone.

I get that this was possibly not the most logical thought progression, but what can I say?  I panicked.

I even told the Verizon guy the whole story, who openly mocked me even as I handed him my credit card and paid lots and lot of money for this new phone.  "I am only doing this under duress," I told him.  "What, is there some dude in the parking lot with a knife who is threatening you to buy this phone?" he said.

When he asked me which smartphone I wanted and I answered the iPhone, he said, "Ok, now the thing about the iPhone that I have to tell you is that it is non-returnable.  Even if you change your mind about this phone five minutes after you walk out the door, it doesn't matter.  Can't bring it back."  I took a deep breath and said ok.  (Pay attention, kids, this is called foreshadowing.)

He proceeds to set the thing up for me.  I feel relief at the thought of never again being stranded without access to important email or Epocrates.  

Not five minutes after I bought the phone, but closer to ten minutes later, I was pulling into the parking deck on the main Emory campus, figuring I would be able to get a little studying in before lectures started, when I got my first-ever phone call on my brand-new phone.

It was my resident.

"Cathy??  Hi, this is Santhi!  I am SO sorry, my kid was sick this morning, and I just now got to work and realized that you were supposed to be with me and I just totally forgot to call you!!"

True story.  And when she said that, I mostly just felt enormous relief that I had been in the right place, after all, and that the miscommunication hadn't been my mistake.  A split second later, it dawned on me that I had just spent hundreds of dollars for no urgent reason whatsoever.  (Phone plus insurance = yikes.)

Of course, I immediately told a friend the story, proving yet again what a moron I am, and we both laughed so hard we were close to tears.  

I am not really at all sorry that it happened... the iPhone is really freaking cool.  Also, I can't tell you how many times a week I have felt like an idiot on the wards without a smartphone, so it will definitely make my life a lot easier.  Moral of the story is that, as a med student, you always have to assume that when something goes wrong, it is definitely your fault.  Sometimes, though, it is a really great surprise when it turns out that it's not. :)

~ ~ ~
And that, friends, is the story of how I finally got an iPhone.


  1. hahahahahhah hilarious. seriously. also, I laughed out loud when "What Makes You Beautiful" started playing. So glad you're a teenage girl at heart :)

  2. also, I hope you use Instagram all the time now that you have an iPhone!

  3. I love it! This has happened to me almost verbatim minus the iPhone buying. The panic of MISSING A ROTATION (gasp!), the panic of finding the computer, which could never boot fast enough, and finding a wifi signal... It sort of amazes me more medical professionals don't graduate with stress ulcers :)


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