As has been the tradition since 2008, I had the honor of giving the morning report on July 1st for the St John Hospital and Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency Program. July one, openning day of the academic year. The conference room was crackling with the energy of fresh interns and the equally excited second years ready to run their own teams.
Giving the lecture was a lot of fun. There were a lot of insightful questions, some because the questioner is terrified and others to show how smart she is. Nobody looked sleep deprived, so the ratio of deer-in-the-headlights to asleep-at-their-desk was unnaturally high.
The lecture covered three topics:
- total body water and how to choose an IV fluid
The lungs serve to maintain the composition of the extra-cellular fluid with respect to oxygen and carbon dioxide, and with this their duty ends. The responsibility for maintaining the composition of this fluid in respect to other constituents devolves on the kidneys. It is no exaggeration to say that the composition of the body fluids is determined not by what the mouth takes in but what the kidneys keep: they are the master chemists of our internal environment. Which, so to speak, they manufacture in reverse by working it over some fifteen times a day. When among other duties, they excrete the ashes of our body fires, or remove from the blood the infinite variety of foreign substances that are constantly being absorbed from our indiscriminate gastrointestinal tracts, these excretory operations are incidental to the major task of keeping our internal environments in the ideal, balanced state.