M.D. = Massive Debt
15+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2002
  1. Attending Physician
    BelugaMD said:
    what's the dumbest thing you've done as a resident?

    I've done several things:

    1. Getting an LP, talking to someone (then chief resident) while holding the tube upside down and the fluid spills everywhere.

    2. Sticking in a central line in the MICU after noone could get it (first try) and saying to the nurse "Yes, you know who the badass is." and pulling the dilator out and having it spray (in an almost...arterial fashion) all over my shirt.

    [not me] Someone gooped too much dermabond on, then tried to wipe it with a 4x4 and glued it to the guy's head.

    Plenty of others.

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    beyond all hope

    Senior Member
    7+ Year Member
    15+ Year Member
    Dec 18, 2003
      That's my stupid mistake thing.

      Missed an enormous tibia plateau fracture (yes, they are one of the most commonly missed fxs, but this one was not subtle.)

      Told an attending: look at this rib fracture here (pt hurt in the front of his chest), I was pointing to the POSTERIOR aspect of the rib. The attending just looked at me and sighed.

      And, drumroll please, at 3 am on advice by my senior I gave Toradol to a patient with a SUBARACHNOID HEMORRHAGE!!! Fortunately, no ill came of it.


      Grizzled Old Newcomer
      7+ Year Member
      15+ Year Member
      May 7, 2003
      1. Non-Student
        As a tech, I was hlping with a trauma case; the patient was mid-20s and he had piercings, tattoos, etc. I noticed little black X marks on the lateral and dorsal sides of his feet, and I'm thinking 'what kind of ritual marking thing is this? Is this guy into some sort of kinky stuff? Why, that's right where his pedal pulses are going to be...'

        So I point it out to the docs. Who calmly explain that the trauma surgeons JUST put those there two seconds ago. So they can find the pedal pulses easily.

        Way to be observant, eh?

        The White Coat Investor

        Practicing Doc and Blogger
        Partner Organization
        15+ Year Member
        Nov 18, 2002
        1. Attending Physician
          ICU month....3 am call.....Patient not breathing....I've been awake literally 10 seconds when I'm at the bedside bagging this patient. Decide to intubate....push Succ.....Can't get the tube, can't get tube with lightwand....patient still baggable so call for back-up.....anesthesia attending (anesthesia backs up the ICU) shows up and secures airway 1 hour later with fiberoptic scope. Then proceeds to chew me out for 1) Not calling them for intubation (debatable, I found out later I was supposed to have the attending in the room when I tubed)
          2) Using succ in patient with a 1 week old C-spine fracture AND (get this, not just one contraindication but two) some type of muscular myopathy. What the H...E....Double Hockey sticks was I thinking! It's not like I didn't know either...I just wasn't thinking quite right.

          Luckily the K stayed within normal limits, but this was by far my biggest mistake in residency.

          P.S. This was the day I became a huge fan of work hour limits. I don't think ANY physician should work more than 16 hours straight.
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