Saturday, July 25, 2009

Take It Off

It's not often that an attending asks me to take off my shirt.  Proud as I may be of my emaciated runner's physique, a summer spent under the fluorescent lighting of the ED does not a bronzed Abercrombie model make me.  Thus, I was a little taken aback when the question was posed yesterday, and wondered if I had become the unwitting participant in some sort of sexual harassment training.

It turned out that a kids summer camp was making a field trip to the Big City ED, and the doc needed a volunteer to undergo an ultrasound demonstration.  More than happy to strip in the support of education, I headed over to the trauma bay and hopped on the stretcher.  Listening to the oohs and ahhs as the attending narrated a tour through my liver, gall bladder, and lungs, I noticed a pause once she switched to the cardiac probe.

As my heart valves opened and closed on the monitor, the attending leaned towards me and asked in a slightly concerned and doubtful tone if I was an athlete.  With a resting pulse in the 40s, I reassured her that my bradycardia was perfectly normal.

Apparently I have the running down, it's just the physique part I have to work on.

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