I’ll be right there for your X-ray, Mr. Smith!


So I ordered a portable chest X-ray the other day.  And I waited…..and waited.  Finally, they wheeled this old thing around the corner!  The good thing, I was thinking as I watched them X-ray Mr. Smith’s chest, was that he benefited in two ways from the X-ray.  First, we would (eventually) get a look at his lungs when the X-ray was developed, and second (here’s the added benefit), he probably just received enough radiation to partially treat the lung cancer we suspect he had.  A double hit!

Then I was off the ICU, to help with a patient who needed assistance in oxygenation.


Hmmmm…..this may not go so well…..

The Dunedin hospital is such a rich mixture of old and new.  I’ve racked by brain for a word to describe this, but can’t for the life of me find the right word (could be the excellent New Zealand Pinot in the way).

The main entrance to the hospital affronts Great King Street.  The hospital towers over the surrounding buildings…


Most of my work is on the 8th floor (the 9th floor using US numbering), and for the last two days I’ve taken the stairs up in the morning.  I am tired when I get to my office, no I’m exhausted.  I’ll say this, if I’m ever on the ground floor, where the coffee shop is (and let’s just be honest that I’m often there)  and there is a cardiac arrest on the 8th floor, I’m taking the elevator.  I  can just imagine trying to run up 9 floors to the code….you get there and everyone looks at you like you’re the one who arrested (and that’s how you would feel).

Anyway, back to the hospital structure.  Grand Rounds is held in one of two large lecture halls in the medical school (it’s held in the Barnett Hall, I believe).  There is a lecture floor, and surrounding this in a semi-circular manner, are about 8 levels of of seats, like what you what see in a theater.  The highest row sits about thirty feet above the lecture floor.  On the walls are paintings of what I assume are famous professors, though I don’t recognize any them and haven’t looked close enough to read their names.  They do look distinguished, though, wearing robes and they are all bearded and regal looking.  But in this old woodened theater environment there is a state of the art projection system….again that marriage of old and new.

Today, I also tagged along with one of the other doctors who offered to show me the hospital gym.  He warned me not to expect much, already downplaying that it was small, didn’t have all that much equipment.  Back home, our hospital has a ‘gym’ but it’s about the size of a closet.  We walked for what seemed life forever, crossed over a street using an elevated enclosed bridge, and finally entered the gym.  It was huge, about the size of our biggest conference room at my old hospital…probably 70 x 50 feet.  It was well stocked with free weights, weight machines, several treadmills, several eliptical machines and quite a number of stationary bicycles.  Very nice indeed.  Except, it’s not heated, and it was about 45 degrees in there.  You can’t have everything. It costs $40 per year to join the gym, which to me seems like a sound investment.

Tomorrow, I’ve got some pretty scary patients to see…..


So, tonight I’m hitting my ‘Monster’s Internal Medicine’ textbook.

Stay tuned for the exciting weekend….


Published by dave clarke

I am different things to different people. Husband, father, doctor, teacher, friend, or if you're a fish, a fly fisherman. But really, I'm just a guy trying to learn about life, and if I'm lucky, maybe teach a little bit along the way. If I were a golfer (I'm not) I would be on the back nine of my life, or if I were a book, there would be more pages turned than not. Any yet, I'm far from finished creating chapters of my life. The goal of Next Chapters is inspiration, and I'm hopeful the traffic goes in both directions.

4 thoughts on “I’ll be right there for your X-ray, Mr. Smith!

  1. I think you and I have taken care of more monsterly patients than these . . . Is the coffee any good there?

    On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 3:07 AM, davidclarkemd

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