The House of God - Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Samuel Shem
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The House of God.
This section contains 463 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Chapter 4 Summary

Roy starts his second day at the House of God. He sees Potts, who just got off call looking very disheveled. Fats is there and teases Potts about giving Thorazine to a patient, whose blood pressure suddenly dropped. During card flip rounds, he learns about the TURF or the transfer of a patient, due to whatever reason that can be made up, to another ward. Several of the new admissions get turfed. Potts gets yelled at by Fats about the Yellow Man and not giving him steroids, as now he is much worse.

The interns learn about the electric gomer bed, or how to raise the bed high enough so that the patient falls to the ground and ends up either in orthopedics with a hip fracture or to neurosurgery with an intracranial bleed. Fats also teaches them about BUFFING a chart so it looks good when they are turfed, regardless of what was actually done to the patient. They go to lunch and meet up with Eat My Dust Eddie, Hyper Hooper and the Runt—interns on the other medicine ward.

The Runt is so nervous that he's been taking Valium to calm down. The Runt is also known as Harold Runtsky. Roy goes to his outpatient clinic and meets a bunch of his patients. He realizes that they are not in need of much except someone to listen to them. The Fat Man tells him that one of his patients, Sophie, needs to leave and the only way to get her to go is to do a painful procedure on her. He does a lumbar puncture on her until she says, "I want to go home!"

Later he learns the fourth law of the house: "The patient is the one with the disease." He talks to Chuck, who's admitted several patients who don't believe he's their doctor because he's black. Roy finishes up and goes home to read his father's latest letter, which is again so very serious, compared to what Roy is going through. He talks with Berry about what he's gone through, and she thinks it's twisted and sick.

Chapter 4 Analysis

Roy is continuing to understand the upside-down rules the Fat Man is teaching him and he sees how a night of call is breaking down his colleagues. He finds some joy in doing his outpatient clinic and is commiserating with his colleagues about the various complications and idiosyncrasies of their patients. He's yet to be on call so this is still a day of discovery for Roy who is trying to understand "the rules" of this crazy place he's now working in. There is still sexual tension between Roy and Molly, and he's gradually getting to know the players of the game.

This section contains 463 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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