Posts Tagged ‘housemanship’

Essential rules of being a houseman.

Posted: October 6, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Rule #1 – Your most important job is “to get screwed”.

I am not kidding. This rule is at the top of the list for a reason. It is a houseman’s-life saver.
The purpose of this rule is to make sure that you do not feel down, depressed or uninspired whenever you feel like you are treated unfairly.

This is your foremost “task”, so feel grateful when you sense that you have been given this “task”. It serves as a reminder that being treated as a floormat or dogfood is normal for a house officer. It does not matter who is on the giving end, an MO, a specialist/consultant, staff nurses, sisters or even patients/relatives.

But getting scolded is only part of the “task”. You are considered successful when you accept it with a smile in your heart, saying sorry (even though it is not your fault; but especially if it is), and learn from the “mistake”.

If you ever forget this rule, it will be very easy for you to fall into depression and start hating your job, taking unneccessary ELs and getting extended or worse, quitting your job.

Rule #2 – You must be an extrovert.

Sure, deep down inside, you would rather lock yourself in a room and spend hours doing whatever it is you do alone. When you step foot inside your workplace, put on that fake smile, spend a few seconds conversing with as many people as possible and be a social superbutterfly.

Do not ever give anyone a reason to not like you. You might not notice, but something as simple as asking for a lost BHT without a smile can be misinterpreted as an unfriendly gesture.

You need people on your side. A casual question about their daily lives can later be magically converted to an hour long of much needed sleep during your oncalls. If you don’t understand what I meant, do not worry. Just be that friendly doctor that everyone likes and you’ll believe me.

Rule #3 – Have a somewhat working time and priority management system.

This rule is learned along the thorned and bloody maze of housemanship.

When you first start being a houseman, you’ll be sort of depressed when learning about your hours. There will be a very limited amount of time for you to do personal errands.

Do not fret. Everything is possible to do, when you know how to do it.¬†Experience is the best teacher, and you’ll soon figure out solutions one after another.

This will in turn help you when managing emergencies during your calls, settling those never ending to-do lists and whatever jobs you were expected to complete two hours ago. You will by time learn to manage your work with the goal of emerging unscathed at the end of the day (or at the very least, with the most minimal amount of being screwed).

Rule #4 – Remember their quirks.

Especially of your bosses. No wait who am I kidding, you’re at the bottom of the food chain, everyone is your boss. Ha-ha.

Some bosses prefer if you do things one way, while other bosses loath that way with utmost sadism. It is your job to remember who likes what, or rather, who hates what. This helps you to stay away from their “NO” list and makes sure you are on the thin wall of their version of naughty or nice.

If possible, do not wait to experience first-hand what their hated things are. Ask around, especially your fellow senior housemans for tips and advices; which brings me to –

Rule #5 – Cover your fellow housemans’ asses.

You are all brothers and sisters; fellow footsoldiers; common compadres; and one big fucked-up family. Whatever happens, you are in this together.

Whenever one houseman fucks up, it will be generalized immediately. You will be punished for something your colleague forgets. You will see another houseman being extended for something that was not entirely his/her fault – cause you played a role in it too. You will hear your bosses comment that the current batch of housemen is useless, just because that one time your fellow houseman did not carry out a plan, and now they implemented rules that strips every houseman in your department of sanity.

It is your job to remind your colleagues. It is your job to correct whatever mistakes you see them doing. Do not EVER have the idea that “that houseman” is not your friend. You might really hate him/her/it for whatever reason, but remember rule #2.

Remember, you are all one big fucked-up family, and family means no one gets left behind. *sniffles*

Rule #6 – Repeat this mantra.

– “Sorry boss.”

These two words will be uttered by you more frequently than addressing your mom. Not one day goes by without saying these words. But you’ll get used to it. It’ll come naturally at the tip of your tongue – like “hello” or “shit”.

They’ll be at the start of your sentence, the middle and the end. You’ll be commented on your frequency of using these words, no doubt; on which you’ll promptly respond with the mantra again.

These words remind you and your boss that you’re the underling and are ready to be squished at any time. And this pleases them. Somewhat.

Rule #7 – Never comment on the silence.

Shut up. Do not say it.

Let me do my call peacefully.

Your time will come and I’ll do to you what is done to me. Your future call depends on your choice today.

Rule #8 – If all else fails, remember rule #1.


Let’s do this shit.

Sorry boss.

*this list is pending review and approval