Are You Afraid of the Dark?

The first day on my Radiology rotation, I walked into the pitch dark reading room and said, louder than I anticipated, “Oooooh… nap time!” Of course attending and resident physicians and other medical students were there.  They must have heard.  Even if I blushed, barely anyone would notice, because it’s just soooooo darn dark in that room!

Naturally, I enjoy my beauty sleep.  I have a wicked talent for sleeping anywhere, anytime, in any position and in any environment.  Whether there’s a Super Nova or a dark and stormy night, I will go to sleep.  Here is a glimpse of me taking a snooze in the library during first year of medical school… yeah, I work hard 😉

An Asian Sleeping in the Library...

An Asian Sleeping in the Library…

Now that you know my sleepy habits, I was bound for an uphill battle for the next two weeks.  Also not helping my situation of a potential fail, I was kick-starting the rotation jetlagged from China.  My circadian rhythm was flopped, so putting me in a dark room all morning was not conducive to keeping me alert and awake.

The other funny thing about this rotation was the fact that there were only 2 Asian girls on the rotation.  We consistently introduced ourselves as “4th year medical students on a 3rd year clerkship” because 1) there were 4th year medical students concurrently doing a Radiology elective who were going into the field and 2) we did not want to get taken seriously, making it semi-okay that we appeared clueless and zoned-out half the time. With an extensive history of being confused with other Asian girls, we were sure to be mixed up, especially with the rooms in total blackness except for an occasional glow from the computers.

My 2-week stint on Radiology gave me the best nap sessions all year.  I’d sit strategically behind the attending and resident physicians. The spinning boss chairs that I sat in made it all too comfortable to fall asleep in.  If the opportunity presented itself, I’d squeeze behind a door and play a couple of rounds of Candy Crush.  I’d turn over and check on my friend, who’d have a curtain of hair in front of her face like the Japanese Ring Girl, totally hiding out and snoozing.

I came awfully close to getting caught this one time.  We were in nuclear medicine with the course director, Dr. M.  As he’d be reviewing nuclear scans, such as PET scans and all that jazz, we would be attempting to pay attention to every detail and look at least half-interested, speaking he was THE director.  The room was glowing white.  I sat behind him.  Still jetlagged late last week, I was trapped in boredom.  Fighting to stay awake, I lost and fell asleep for a solid 2 minutes.  Luckily I did not snore, as I was mad tired.  My friend said to me later, “You were damn lucky he didn’t turn around!”  Whew, close call!

Other times, I’d either be in a resident presentation or lecture.  As you’d guess, I’d be fighting a losing battle, hyperextend my neck in my seat, and snooze away.  Since the lecture hall/conference rooms were very small, it was noticeable.  I made a record number of rejuvenating naps these past 2 weeks, minus a sore neck from all the hyperextension in my chair.

To end my blog on why I would fail to be a radiologist, I had the final exam this past Friday.  80 multiple choice questions on anything radiology … and I hit the snooze button during the exam.  Donned in scrubs, comfortable as ever, my friend and I both passed out during the exam.  Come on, we had 3 hours to take this exam we could care less about.  We were bound to take the elevator ride to Cloud 9!

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2 thoughts on “Are You Afraid of the Dark?

  1. I think I deserve more credit in staying awake during our rotation and keeping the attendings and residents occupied so that they didn’t notice your catnaps! LOL

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