Thursday, August 28, 2014

Residency: What I Keep In My White Coat

medical school residency doctor white coat pager
As much as I hate the pretentiousness of wearing a white coat, there is one thing I love about it: the pockets! Unfortunately a lot of female clothing falls short pocket-wise and I don't really like carrying a bag when I'm running around in the hospital. Here are some basics that I always have in my white coat pockets:
medical school residency doctor white coat pager
  1. pens -- Not one, but two...because what use is a med student or resident without a pen. Pens in the hospital go the same way as socks in the dryer (and if you still have yours, it will sooner or later be "borrowed" permanently by your preceptor).
  2. paper -- I fold up a sheet or two of blank paper to keep in my pocket for scribbling down consult information, vital signs, teaching points, questions, etc. More organized residents carry small notebooks.
  3. ACLS cards --  Safety blanket.
  4. bank card -- I never know when I'll get a chance to buy coffee or food; it's best to have money on hand.
  5. granola bar -- I've learned the hard way to keep food on hand. Always.
  6. pager -- Not by choice. At least I changed my ring tone to the one least resembling a smoke detector.
  7. cell phone -- (Not pictured...a giveaway that I'm too lazy to get out my real camera for blog photos!) I find that books (like Pocket Medicine) weigh down my white coat and I tend to look things up on my phone. My favourite medical app is Medscape. It's free, can be browsed offline (in the bowels of the hospital where reception is nonexistent), and contains disease information, calculators, and a drug database. I also keep a few medical reference books on my phone, which I view in Aldiko ebook reader.
Medscape app 
reading a reference book on Aldiko
Some residents have mastered the art of strategic white coat pocket packing. I prefer to stick to these basics and keep everything else in my bag.

What do you keep in your white coat pockets?

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