Hillary Tompkins, MD
Gastroenterologist, Exeter, NH
It was an honor to serve as CIR President this last year as well as the Massachusetts Regional Vice President in three previous years. I have proudly been an active union member since I first began my internship in Internal Medicine. As a medical student at Boston University I understood the importance of CIR and wanted my residency to be in a CIR hospital. CIR has made a clear difference at Boston Medical Center; I have seen the implementation of 24-hour phlebotomy and IV services, after-hours taxi vouchers, and serious consideration of resident work hours and wellness. As members of CIR, residents and fellows are heard, and we truly make a difference in our hospitals and beyond.
¡Me duele…necesito ahora orinar!
by Betty Chung, OMS-IV
UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine“Does anyone speak any Spanish?” the nurse asked those of us who were sitting in the area of the ER known as the “fishbowl,” the area where housestaff and medical students write up admissions orders and stare at computer screens imprinted with long lists of lab results. We returned her question with blank stares. I had seen the language phone line used in a hospital with a more diverse and underserved patient population, but I didn’t expect this suburban hospital with its less diverse clientele to offer such services. (I later learned they do have access to a language line but never employ it.)
I timidly volunteered, thinking that if I was the best Spanish speaker they had in this hospital, we might all be in trouble. “No worries,” said the nurse, “Just try your best, the patient is kind of out if it anyways.”
Actually, the patient was of very sound mental status. When I entered her room, she was feverishly gesticulating and speaking loudly in Spanish to anyone who came to check on her. To someone who couldn’t understand her native tongue, she could have seemed demented and agitated, which is perhaps why she was largely ignored. But she was in severe pain and was futilely trying to convey this fact to the staff. . . continued.
Must-Have Resources for Medical School and Residency
Are you worried about The Match and how to research the hospitals you’re considering? Do you need some tips on how to prepare for your intern year? Are you wondering how having a union helps resident physicians? You’ll want to read and download these helpful one-page documents!
Resident Work Hours
2003 ACGME Recommendations vs. 2008 IOM Recommendations