"And the present is trivia, which I scribble down as notes."

There's a great scene in Memento where our afflicted protagonist, with only a short-term memory at his disposal, is trying to jot down a crucial clue revealed to him by the duplicitous Carrie-Anne Moss. He's looking around, frantically, for a pen and paper.

She knows his condition, walks out of the room and patiently waits. A few moments later, she abruptly returns to shatter his train of thought.

He forgets the important note and returns to baseline -- a mildly confused but otherwise blank slate.

I have moments like that, every night on call. Except, instead of Carrie-Anne Moss, the nemesis is a pager.

And instead of a single murder mystery clue, it's a half-dozen lab values or vital signs or abnormal physical exam findings.

And instead of just needing a pen and paper, it's also needing to find the right signout note, and a computer, and the getting the orders in, and the signout updated, before the pager goes off again.

But the frantic part? And the short-term memory? And the use of body parts? That's pretty much the same.