13 Chapter 0012: Director's Rounds

Translator: 549690339

Zhang Lin didn't let his northeastern roots down, he had several bottles of beer yet he still managed to stand up and ask for the bill.

It was initially agreed that Yang Ping would pay, but Zhang Lin insisted on doing so. Unable to persuade him otherwise, Yang Ping had to go along with his wishes.

The two men said goodbye at the entrance of the restaurant. Zhang Lin wobbled a bit as he started to walk away, prompting Yang Ping, who was worried about his condition, to consider accompanying him.

However, Zhang Lin's pediatrician suddenly appeared as if she had been hiding under a tree for a long time.

She immediately rushed over to support Zhang Lin with her petite body, stopping at each step.

Yang Ping felt a little envious, the life of the common man seemed pretty good, too.

At seven in the morning of the following day, Yang Ping arrived at his department, ready to begin another busy day of work.

"What day is it today?" Zhang Lin said, pulling out some menthol, pouring it onto his finger, then rubbing his temples.

"Tuesday!" Yang Ping replied.

It's quite common for a doctor to forget the day of the week. As long as they remember which day they're on duty, that's more than enough because every day is a work day.

"I'm doomed! Today is the chief's grand rounds and I'm utterly unprepared. I'm definitely going to 'die' today," Zhang Lin exclaimed with a slap on his thigh.

"It's just rounds, what's there to be nervous about?" Yang Ping consoled him.

Grand rounds with the chief are typically a young doctor's worst nightmare. This is when the chief assesses their studies and work once a week, just by asking questions, enough to make a young doctor feel drained.

In this department, grand rounds are scheduled for Tuesday mornings. Therefore, aside from emergency surgeries, no other elective surgeries are scheduled for Tuesday mornings. All elective surgeries are postponed to the afternoon.

Once the customary morning handover meeting was completed, the rounds began and the whole department staff assembled. The team comprised of Director Han in the lead, with Directors Tian, Ouyang, Bai, and Ding on the flanks, followed by attending physicians, resident physicians, graduate students and intern doctors, respectively.

The hierarchy was well-defined, the formation was neat. The hierarchy amongst doctors was strict, almost similar to the military. Lower ranks obeyed the higher ranks, surgeries couldn't be prescribed out of rank and similarly, standing positions also followed rank.

Director Han's white coat was buttoned up neatly. His typically thick, short, black hair was cut close to his scalp. He walked with his head held high and chest out, his movements as steady as if he had iron for bones in his body.

Director Tian appeared the most refined, with his ever-present gold-rimmed glasses, slightly chubby frame and well-proportioned facial features, embodying the charm of a scholar.

Director Ouyang was actually only in his early forties, but half of his hair was already grey. He was tall and slim, with a straight posture. His blue shirt under the white coat gave off an astute and calm impression.

Director Bai was the most influential among the directors. With a height of almost 170 cm and a weight close to 180 pounds, his custom-made white coat was still stretched taut in the front, giving a sense of imminent 'explosion'.

Director Ding was always somewhat aloof and indifferent.

The second echelon consisted of attending physicians. Song Zimo habitually left his white coat unbuttoned, his hands tucked into his pockets, letting the coat sway as he walked, creating a rustling sound, looking cool above all else.

Tang Fei was like a radiant rose. She wore minimal makeup, a light purple hair clip adorned her symbolic ponytail, and her feminine physique accentuated by her white coat looked enchanting.

The third echelon was made up of the resident physicians, who stood at the base of this pyramid. They were constantly rushing around, working from early morning to late at night, often reprimanded, and subsisting on near-subsistence wages.

Yang Ping also belonged to this third echelon, standing side by side with Zhang Lin, calmly recalling all the patients' data he's responsible for in his mind, in case of any unexpected questions from the chief.

The last group consisted of the interns, who were the only workforce the resident physicians had any control over.

With everyone assembled, the entourage travelled along the hospital corridor whilst the people upfront cleared the way. The process of making rounds had strict procedures such as entering and exiting wards, standing positions, all of which were precisely regulated. The ward doctor would enter first, then the rest of their team would fall into place. When exiting, everyone moved aside for the chief to leave first, followed by the others leaving in single file.

The resident physician would knock on the door, greet the patient upon entering the ward, then stand at the left of the patient's bed. The attending physician and team leader from the same group would follow and take their respective places. Everyone found their places without deliberate arrangement. With the room packed, some interns squeezed into corners near the doorway while others, unable to find a space inside, were forced to stand outside with their ears perked up, trying to catch what was being said.

The prime location on the right side of the patient's bed, at position C, was reserved for the chief physician. An intern, unaware of this fact, tried to swoop into position C just to be gently discouraged by his preceptor: "Young man, this is right under the air conditioning vent, you might catch a cold." He then squeezed the intern in next to him.

The intern felt touched by his mentor's thoughtfulness; having such a teacher was indeed a blessing in life. He was overjoyed.

The chief took his position, his strong posture standing firm like a rooted tree. His penetrating gaze, sharp as an X-ray beam, was probably what they meant by the phrase 'eyes that burned brightly'.

Though everyone possessed two eyes with the same anatomical structure, why was there such great disparity in their perceptive powers? Yang Ping wondered if any research had ever probed this. If not, it could be a potentially valuable topic for a post-doctoral study.

The patient whose severed finger was reattached the previous night was on the bed.

The patient, leaning against the headboard, looked around at everyone. The formidable scene likely intimidated him.

Standing across from the chief, Zhang Lin began to report the patient's medical history - the patient's name, age, gender, diagnosis, reasons for hospitalization, course of illness, treatment process, previous illnesses, details of their physical examination, diagnostic tests performed, and any abnormalities noted. Zhang Lin recited everything without referring to the medical records, depending entirely on his memory.

The first half went smoothly, he reported confidently causing a smile to curl on the face of the attending physician, Song Zimo.

Unfortunately, it appeared that Zhang Lin had pushed himself too hard, as he began to stammer midway through his report. His voice lowered becoming indistinct and disjointed, he was sweating profusely, and a bead of sweat eventually rolled down his face. He stopped altogether, unable to say another word.

It was quite a pity, as it would have been a perfect presentation of medical history. The other doctors felt regretful that Zhang Lin had overexerted himself.

The chief's eyebrows furrowed.

Song Zimo immediately stepped up and continued the medical history presentation.

"Let me see the medical records!" Director Han extended his hand.

The medical records were handed over to the chief. As he read through them quickly, he said, "Right thumb completely severed - hmm, this medical record is exceptionally well-written, capturing details that others often overlook."

Suddenly, because of a mistake, he regained his lost confidence in front of everyone. To receive an open compliment from Director Han was something that he could boast about in the cafeteria.

Zhang Lin perked up again.

"Exactly, let's keep up the good work," added Song Zimo.

"This patient is male, yet you still managed to ask about his menstrual history, first period, and last menstruation time clearly. Truly a talent, a pillar of the nation!" said Director Han seriously.

Someone couldn't hold back and burst out laughing, which then turned into an obvious sound of holding their breath.

"Ah--" Zhang Lin's face instantly turned beet red.

It was all because of copy and paste!

Although Zhang Lin wrote the medical record himself, Yang Ping who was standing by also felt super awkward. They were in the same team and under everybody's gaze, had to face the pressure of ten suns' worth of spotlight.

The X-ray was passed over, and Director Han held up the film to look at it against the light from the window.

They were about to be questioned; It was really happening.

Everyone immediately shrank back like ostriches as if doing so would make them invisible to the director.

Zhang Lin, who was just starting to relax, began to break out into sweat again.

"What is the core and the key to re-implantation of severed fingers?" Director Han put down the film and scanned the room with his eyes.

Wherever his gaze landed, the young doctors lowered their heads even further.

This was a bit of a tricky question, as it required a summary of knowledge to answer. Those who crammed in "Hand Surgery" the night before because they were relatively composed, were now confused. The book didn't mention anything about this!

The director's gaze continued to roam, like a searchlight. Just then, Song Zimo stepped forward.

There was no question that Senior Brother Song couldn't answer, this was the consensus amongst his peers.

"The core is to anastomose the blood vessels, and the key is to anastomose the nerves."

"Hmm, very good. The surgery took only two hours, and Director Tian is getting faster and faster." Director Han flipped through the surgical record.

Director Tian, who was next to him, flushed slightly: "I didn't do it, it was the new Doctor Yang."

Wait, Doctor Yang? They got it wrong, didn't they? He could do the re-implantation of severed fingers all by himself? And to finish up one that was severed into two pieces within two hours? Everyone glanced over, wasn't he an intern lead by Zhang Lin? Some people didn't even know he was a new doctor and confused him with an intern. The department was just too busy and there were too many people.

The crowd started chattering, filled with doubts, envy, and whispers.

"Yes, Doctor Yang did it. I was his assistant." Zhang Lin managed to win back some face. After losing face twice already, this two-hour finger re-implantation surgery was something he assisted with. Anyone who had something to say about it, try assisting with a surgery yourself.

"Yang Ping did it?" Director Han looked up and down at Yang Ping, as if he couldn't quite believe it.

"Yes!" Zhang Lin confirmed once again. As the one involved, he had the most authority to speak, especially as the status of the assistant involved could not be questioned.

"I didn't think it was that complicated, so I did it myself." Yang Ping scratched the back of his head.

Director Tian added: "The quality of the anastomosis of the blood vessels was very good."

The crowd buzzed again. Some people couldn't sit still, what? Finger re-implantation is not very complicated? Why talk so flippantly? How are we supposed to cope with this?

Director Han nodded and asked: "Can you explain why the core is to anastomose the blood vessels, and the key is to anastomose the nerves?"

Yang Ping scratched his head: "First you have to survive, then you can think about thriving."

Everyone laughed, not knowing whether they were laughing at Yang Ping's answer, or because they were relieved they didn't have to answer the question themselves.

Director Han grunted in acknowledgement: "That's the gist of it. Without high-quality anastomosis of blood vessels, the finger can't survive, and nothing further can be discussed; without high-quality anastomosis of nerves, sensory and motor function cannot be restored, and the finger becomes useless, a burden. So, the survival of the finger is only the foundation. What we pursue is functionality."

"So it's selective breeding." someone interjected.

"Hmm, you come--" Director Han found his next target.

This brother wished he could smack his own mouth for speaking out of turn and giving away his position.


After more than three hours, the director's round of ward rounds had finally ended, and everyone heaved a sigh of relief.

Those who were picked to answer questions were drenched in sweat, with some showing signs of dehydration.

Someone was already leaning weakly into the nurses' station: "Sis! Can you get me a bottle of 5% glucose to drink?"

Those who weren't called out were thrilled at their narrow escape and breathed a sigh of relief, at least for this week they could stop living in fear.

Oh, shit! Just now, when the director was doing his rounds, his eyes flicked over here and my heart was pounding like a diesel engine. That was close. Someone was recalling the nerve-wracking moment.

When everyone else had left, Yang Ping went for another round of rounds alone, to check on the patient whose severed finger he had re-implanted. The blood circulation looked good.

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