, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 162-163
Date: 22 Jun 2012

Name-Calling

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Once while rotating on the vascular service, I called to return a page.

“Hi, this is Andrae, returning a page for Vascular Surgery.”

“Oh. Hi. Wait, are you Vascular?”

“No, my name is Andrae. I’m rotating on Vascular. Whom am I speaking with please?”

“Oh, I’m just covering for the nurse. Listen, are you taking care of 1312?”

“1312?”

“The fem-pop?”

“You mean, Mr. Ramirez, our post-op patient in 1312, who underwent a fem-pop bypass yesterday? Yes, I am taking care of him. Wait, is this James?”

“Oh, no, it’s not James. Hey, I’m glad I found you. Listen, Respiratory has a question for you.”

Call me old-fashioned, but what happened to using names? Some of our parents have spent a considerable amount of time coming up with them. In the hospital, it sometimes seems that weeks pass without using them. Many trainees know the following conversation. On rounds, the attending suggests calling a subspecialty consult:

“Do you think we should call Pulm?”

“I dunno, maybe. If we do call, should we call Pulm or Rhe ...