Reality shows have been very popular during the past years. The topics vary from talent contests to losing weight to dating games, to everything imaginable. Whatever captures human interest sells. I'd like to propose a new reality show. How about: "The Search for the 6th Cardiology Fellow"?
For almost one month now, we have been shorthanded. My fellowship batch mates and I, the five of us, are doing the job of a 6-member team. This fellowship program was structured such that 6 people are being rotated among different posts. We started out with all 6 slots filled up, but during the middle part of last month, AKDM, our batch mate then quit due to an unprecedented pregnancy. The result - we have more frequent duties, heavier patient loads and unpredictable rotation schedules for the rest of the year.
This load is taking a toll on us now. The job is heavy enough. An extra load now is just too heavy a burden. Too much that my other batch mates and I have been gaining weight. Too much that when we were asked to dance during last weekend's alumni homecoming, we danced so wildly they all thought we were inebriated. Now, all I'm saying is Cardiology fellowship is toxic. But it can also be fun. We just need a 6th man.
I'm not being sexist here. A female or a male batch mate would be good enough. I've long given up on the thought that I will be the only girl in the team, since my batch mate Diva (genetically XY but phenotypically more XX than I am), happens to share the distinction with me. But of course, another XY in the team will be more interesting. If he happens to be straight, he'd be my pet. If he happens to be a bit on the metro side (yeah right, there's no such thing as a metro), he'd be Diva's. If this threatens any interested applicant, I'm sorry. The truth is, I'm perfectly harmless, lacking in grace and totally undesirable so I wouldn't even tickle his fancies (Diva is not, though. He's totally attractive and even stunning!).
Now if you can't imagine how toxic our lives are, here's a rough guide. We go on duty every 3 - 5 days, during which, we are the only cardiologists in the entire hospital. We read mountains of ECGs every day. We have Hemodynamics Conferences where we get grilled and eaten alive (aka steaks well-done or rare) by our esteemed consultants followed by Vascular Conference every Monday, Core Curriculum every Tuesday morning, Pre-op Conference every Wednesday. We have twice weekly OPDs where we see an average of 10 - 12 patients per OPD day. This is on top of our usual loads (diagnostics, pay, ward, ICU). For instance, I'm rotating in "Non-Invasive Diagnostics" now, which is supposed to be the most benign rotation. But I only get to go home to my apartment 3x a week. All these plus the fact that we don't have a decent and regular salary.
Such is the predicament and the excitement of my life that I have become an inspiration to several friends. My good friend and beer buddy J, a single thirty-something male on the fast rise in the corporate ladder, insists that my life (and my doctor friends') is stuff for reality shows. During my whining episodes, he always consoles me by claiming that whenever he gets so stressed out by his own job and so dissatisfied with his life, he just thinks of mine and he feels a lot better. Whenever he has the urge to complain, he thinks of what I go through everyday and he becomes thankful for what he was given. (Ugh, very flattering indeed.) In the spirit of amusement, gratitude, pity and friendship, he invariably ends up footing the bill. At least, even my misery changes other peoples' lives.
So please, if you know of any one interested in going to Cardiology, we still need a 6th man. I can assure him he'll be grilled, humiliated and laughed at. He'll pass through fire, he'll be incinerated, he will cry, he will tremble in sheer exhaustion (as my batch mate Diva says, ninipis ang singit ng pantalon nya sa kakalakad at kakatingin ng referral), he will realize how short one day is and how long one duty night can be. But he will come out of this satisfied and fulfilled to have done something way beyond his imagination, to have learned from great teachers and to be known as their fellows and eventually their colleagues.
And I can assure him. He'd gain weight. I've gained 4 kilograms in 3 months. Top that!
Life is a reality show. In CVS, we are the reality show every one else dreams of becoming part of.
(bwahaha, now that's the CVS spirit! mayabang!)
P.S. Here's my dream reality show ending...
Jean (approaches the training officer JCA in tears): Sir, I'm sorry but I have to quit the program.
JCA (in his elaborate JCA manner, with hand gestures and contorted face): Oh, why? What's the problem? What did we do wrong?
Jean (blushing, in tears and sobbing): Nothing's wrong with the program sir. It's not the job.
JCA (still shocked): So why quit? Why quit now?
Jean (still blushing, beginning to be cyanotic): Uhmmm, sir, I'm... I'm pregnant...
JCA (shocked but trying to hide it): Oh, that's great news. Who's the lucky dad?
Jean (already cyanotic): Uhhmmm, sir, I don't know. I really don't remember.
----reality show ends----