The Importance of a Good Knot

It was the first day of intern year and I'd been handed the trauma phone and two pagers.  "You're on call," my senior said smugly.  Besides interview day the previous year, I hadn't been to Henry Ford since my parents took me- their first born- home from the hospital.  My mom and dad met as college students in the microbiology research lab.  Their courtship consisted of tennis matches on the court by the helipad, dinner dates at the (now defunct) Ramp Room bar, and me.  I guess you could say I entered the world there.  And now my parents beamed with pride as I started my surgical training there.  "My daughter, oh you mean the doctor?", they'd say.  At least I looked the part.  My white coat was pristine, I had a new stethoscope with my name on it and a thick book called "how to survive intern year" or something shoved in the back pocket of my scrubs.  I was ready.  But as I got my first consult about 30 seconds after becoming a doctor, I suddenly wished I had paid more attention on the residency interview tour.  The consult was for an "acute abdomen" in the Medical ICU.  Was that on the 5th floor? I ran up the stairs.  The phone rang. "Trauma?" I whispered.  It was my senior.  "Interns aren't supposed to see MICU consults.  The junior is seeing that one. Come to the ER immediately, a big trauma is on the way." ER. First floor? I soon found a very inviting stairwell near the MICU and opened the door.  Before I realized that it was not a stairwell but a fire escape, the door slammed behind me. Locked.  I raced down to the next level.  Locked.  And the next.  Locked.  Amidst the running and the shear panicking, my scrubs gave way to the weight of the pagers, phone and intern survival guide.  My pants hit the floor with a thud and tangled around my ankles as I tumbled down the last flight of stairs.  I laid there in a pile of humiliation.  Beads of sweat formed on my brow.  An unfamiliar pain welled up behind my sternum.  This is it, I thought to myself.  What would my parents think? What would people say? "She didn't last 12 hours" or "poor girl was discovered pants down at the bottom of the fire escape".  It took some coaxing (and yes, a bit of crying) but I managed to pick myself up, dust myself off, and exit the fire escape into an alley on the ground level.  I shuffled into the ER, casually slipping the "survival guide" into the trash can. "You're late," my senior glared.  I bit my tongue instead of informing him that I was almost his next level 2 trauma.