White Coat Pockets

If you’ve never worn the short white coat of a medical student, then you have no idea how many pockets there are.  My white coat has six pockets.  And if you are wondering what I keep in all of those pockets, then this blog post is for you!

In one pocket I keep my stethoscope.  Most medical students find it cooler to wear their stethoscopes around their necks, but I learned early on that this gives me a headache.  So I keep mine in my pocket.  It is really heavy though, so everything else I carry has to go on the other side of white coat to balance things out.

In my breast pocket I keep a pen and a pen light.  There are no otoscopes in any of the hospital rooms, so if you need to look in someone’s eyes or mouth, you really need a pen light.  Plus attendings almost never have these things, so it’s good if you’re ready when they need one.

In another pocket I keep a small notepad and my patient list for the day.  In the notebook I write down topics that my attending assigns me or topics that I want to brush up on later.  My patient list tells me which patients my attending needs to see that day and which ones he has assigned to me.  I also use this to jot down all the important lab values and pertinent information that I know my preceptor will ask when I present my patients to him.

In the last pocket I keep my attending’s name badge – which he is kind enough to lend me so I can get into the physician’s lounge to pump, my chapstick, my cell phone, and a buckeye.  What is a buckeye, you ask?  A buckeye is a type of tree that has large seeds that are almost like chestnuts.

Last summer during my preceptorship in Nebraska, a patient of mine gave me a buckeye.  He had both pockets completely full of them!  Every time he came to see my preceptor, he brought him a buckeye for good luck, and he was nice enough to give me one.  He told me to keep it in my pocket and remember him.

I have made a lot of adjustments r o what I carry around in my white coat pockets, as they really do get heavy fast, but I keep that buckeye.  When I am fumbling through my pockets each day looking for this or that, I sometimes grab a hold of my buckeye, and I remember that patient.  But, more than that, I remember all of my patients.  I remember why I went to medical school.  And it really gives me strength.  Sometimes when I’m having a tough day, just holding on to that buckeye is enough to keep me going.






























About emilyehoward

My name is Emily, and I am a Hospitalist in Nebraska. I live with my husband and three beautiful daughters. I hope you enjoy my blog!
This entry was posted in Doctor, Health Care, Medical Student, Medicine, Osteopathy, Physician and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s