Ever since I was a kid, I have attracted stray animals. Dogs, cats. Even turtles. It seems I attract the same types of patients. Among my colleagues, I have become notorious for being A Black Cloud. You see, we are a highly superstitious lot. Even more than athletes. As one off service resident told me, it was a pleasure working with you but I NEVER want to work with you again. One of my close friends dreads working with me again towards the end of our residency because they know what is in store. As I work nights in the hospital and admit new patients from the ER, I hear comments from my day team colleagues who then have to deal with the aftermath of my admits. Such comments as:
Really? You had to pick THIS one?
Seriously? Do you go looking for these?
I hate you so much right now.
Even multiple attendings in clinic have asked me, don't you have any normal patients? You know, like simple diabetes or high blood pressure. Regular stuff.
It makes me laugh inside. Sometimes, one laughs to keep from crying. What else can one do? But I continue to accumulate my menagerie of strays. As time has passed, though, I do not simply inherently attract disasters, though I do seem to do that. Patients share their disasters with me. For whatever reason. They tell me things. They tell me things they have never told anyone else. Honesty, has tattooed itself all over my face and patients feel comfortable telling me things that they have not told anyone. I have accepted that role and embraced it.