Quora and My Longest Shift

My Quora Answer to:
What was the longest night you ever had as a doctor?

In the ER in Shawano, Wisconsin.

It was the Sunday before Labor Day. I saw 56 patients in 24 hours, including a Native American man who was run over by another Native American girl when he passed out drunk on a major highway. His was the bloodiest case I ever saw and he didn't make it despite our most valiant efforts.

I was obviously up all night, I spent another 4 hours dictating after my shift. For free. When I finally walked out of the hospital to drive home, I discovered that one of my tires was flat. So I walked to a nearby convenience store and bought a can of Fix-A-Flat. Please note that all of the car repair shops were closed for the holiday.

I lived 6 hours from Shawano. Once the tire started to bump, I had to stop and buy another can to reinflate the tire. All told, there were five cans, lots of lost time with my family, and continuous infusions of caffeine. Once I got home I slept for 18 hours.


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