Ward Service.

I hate it.

It usually consists of going to the hospital. Dealing with tired physicians who are annoyed that you (a lowly 2nd year medical student) has come to visit one of their patients who are all either too sick or demented to care what is going on anyway.

Today was my scheduled ward service for the month at the University Hospital. So I fixed myself up, straightened my hair, but on a nice black turtle neck and gray slacks, over which I put on my newly laundered white lab coat. I hooked my stethoscope around my neck and made my way to the UH.

Once I got there and met with some of my other classmates who had their ward service too. We meandered our way around in a desperate attempt to find the General Medicine Staff Room, eventually I stopped letting ?Mega Gunner? Megan lead the group and took it upon myself to get everyone where they needed to be.

When we got there, instead of going to different teams, like usual, they had a patient list of all of the potential patients we could see today.

Since I was leading the charge I was the first to sign the sheet and as I looked over the patients, I did what any logical person would do, I just signed up for the 1st name on the list.

I stood there for a minute though. There was something about the patient on the 2nd slot. They don?t even have names. It was just patient number 53. Telemetry Ward. Team 10.

For no reason at all, I scratched my name off and signed up for the telemetry patient, thinking, this person is probably going to be really sick, wtf am I doing?

So I took the elevator to the 10th floor and walked into room 53, fully expecting an aged old man with labored breathing and a "downtrodden not wanting to talk to me" attitude.

But I walk in, and this young (my age) good looking guy is sitting reading a magazine on the hospital bed.

He looks up and smiles and says ?well, hello.?

I am ever the professional though, and I don?t see it as a sign or anything (I am not a stupid flittering girl who believes that fate brings people together or anything that silly) But during the course of my interview it really felt like we had the same humor and he was very pleasant and up until those last moments I thought I would really like to get to know him better.

Then the PA comes in, and lets me know that it is time for him to get going.

He is having surgery and they will be needing to do some standard prep. He is end stage lung disease and his recent heart attack on Monday left his entire vasculature a muddled mess.

The PA took me aside and said, ?its good that you were here just to talk to him, no family has visited him yet and we don?t know how much longer he will last.?

He waved and wished me good luck with the rest of my studies in medical school.

I wished him good luck too.

I will never see him again.

But it was a brief connection with a person on this planet, and it has resonated with me.

I took the stairs all the way down from the 10th floor, and thought about Ward Service.