SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

How much "acute care" medicine do pathologists retain?

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by EC3, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. EC3

    EC3 Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    I'm talking about if you're eating at Denny's and some guy starts to grab his chest... would most of you guys feel comfortable trying to help out?

    What about sewing up a minor lac?


    /confused MS3.7
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. mcfaddens

    mcfaddens Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    I feel comfortable in either of the situations, Its up to the individual- I feel I had great hands on training in my Med Ed and many of my clinical attendings felt I should have gone into a clinical field because I was very good at the clinical/surgical aspect of health care but I really wanted to do path because I like the diversity and diagnostic aspect that path provides more:luck:
  4. deschutes

    deschutes Thing Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2004
    On location
    What exactly do you envision doing in the Denny's scenario? I mean, you're at Denny's, not in an ER. You don't have access to IVs, O2Sat monitors, ECGs, stat troponins. Correct me if I'm wrong, but all you might be able to do is call an ambulance and then take his pulse and give him aspirin and nitro.

    As for sewing up a lac, sure - but unless you find some way of hoarding Vicryl at home, I don't see how you'd have adequate supplies to complete the task outside of a doctor's office.
  5. gbwillner

    gbwillner Pastafarian Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member


    I sympathize with the OP... Unlike Rads there is no internship year and I feel like in some ways I never get to experience an essential component of medicine (you know, the one that gets you all the chicks).
  6. docbiohazard

    docbiohazard Highly ranked amateur 2+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Just keep your BCLS certification (or ACLS) up to date and maybe take a basic first aid course...

    FYI, sutures can be bought in bulk for cheap on eBay... sure they might be expired, but what the hell do you care, you're a pathologist suturing up lacerations at your local Denny's... (damn, LADoc might be right about the dismal job market after all... :) )

  7. SLUsagar

    SLUsagar rock chalk jayhawk 10+ Year Member

    Feb 12, 2004
    it's completely individual. for me, although i didn't realize that path was the ideal field for me, i wasn't exactly gung ho in acute care training (i.e. no ER rotation, although i've seen a buncha of the shows, and i once did stay at a holiday inn...). I think i'd ask the waitress what tha dude ordered, and be sure to stay away from that item on the menu.
  8. triguy

    triguy Use the Force 2+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    I think with the fork and knife at Denny's, the post would take me just under an hour!
  9. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Why? I mean, I was a chemistry major in college but I don't really remember how to do Sn2 reactions, nor does it ever come up.

    "Helping out" in the context of medical emergencies usually doesn't even require a medical degree. It just requires common sense and a bit of calm. Call for help, then find out if he is choking, do BLS if necessary. Denny's doesn't have a crash cart.

    Personally, I could live a very happy life without ever having to sew up a minor lac. My dad is an ER physician and when we got minor lacs growing up, he took us to the ER and someone else did it. I'm not quite sure the relevance of your question? If you maintain your ACLS certification you should know enough to be a roving good samaritan.
  10. djmd

    djmd an Antediluvian 7+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2001

    I kind of remember this mentality back in medical school...
    i.e. MSIIIs calling oneself an MSIV the day the previous MSIV graduated.

    But come on... Its April, we all know when the year rolls over. You are MSIII.
  11. triguy

    triguy Use the Force 2+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    Quick poll: How many path residents actually got their ACLS certification?

    My program didn't let us get it. They said we didn't need it. At first I was a little upset. After all, I was a "real" doctor now, and wanted to be prepared for the pateint that collapsed outside the hospital.

    However, in the ensuing years, I have discovered that common sense is indeed the only thing one needs, as yaah has nicely pointed out. Not that I care enough to use it... Common sense that is.
  12. EUA

    EUA 5+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    And here we HAD to get our ACLS cert. What. A . Drag.

    I do, in fact, hoard supplies, and have done home minor lac repair on a friend after he bit it skateboarding. It was most unsanitary, but everyone lived, even me.
  13. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    i concur with deschutes's thinking - without equipment and meds, you're not going to be able to do anything more than the best trained ER doc in the same situation. maybe if you were a total badass you could try a cricothyroidotomy (like in that silly movie with reece witherspoon as the ghost). i also agree with yaah that common sense is far more important in that kind of situation than is an MD.
  14. deschutes

    deschutes Thing Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2004
    On location
    Good point, docbiohazard. If you've never wandered through the aisles at eBay looking at medical equipment available for purchase, you might be amused (if "amused" is really the right word)... I've seen whole Stryker and Olympus systems for sale on there.

    djmd, what's worse are the med students who think they're automatically doctors.

    triguy, I'd also recommend a straw for the blood. ;)
  15. None.

    Defer those problems to real doctors.

Share This Page