Thursday, October 29, 2009

Long Week is Long

Wow, it's been a hideously long week, and it's not even over yet! o_O

On Monday I went to a potluck at a labmate's condo. My anatomy lab group - the best group in the West lab I must say - decided to have a potluck dinner and just relax and talk. So we met at a labmate's condo about 20 minutes away from school - I'll call him Jon. He has a cat named Stewie (the baby from the show Family Guy). I think his cat really liked me, lol. When the other lab members showed up, all they wanted to talk about was Jon's proposal to his fiance, how they met, and their eventual wedding. Women, I swear. It was actually a bit depressing for me since I've never had a relationship and marriage is sooo far away for me, if ever (depending on what happens and what state I'm in). I feel so alone. But I didn't show it and just toughed it out. I think Jon liked having another guy to just be around who's not all into talking about proposing and wedding stuff, haha. Overall the food was really good we were stuffed, and there were TONS of leftovers.

Yesterday I was at school from 8:20am until almost 9pm. o_O Classes, lab, dinner thing, and devo tutoring. The devo tutor was honestly much better than the professor for the course. She was clear and easy to understand, she was dynamic, and most importantly, she was enthusiastic. At least 2/3 of my class was at the devo tutoring session. The professor for the course is just old and slow . . . really nice guy in person though.

Tuesday through tonight (Thursday) there were a series of dinners put on by various student groups. It was nice interacting with M2s, M3s, and M4s, and getting a sense about Step 1 of the boards as well as rotations. It was also nice talking to various pediatricians and subspecialists to get a sense of what their lives are like. There may hopefully be an opportunity to shadow a couple of them in the near future, if I ever get on that. It seems every pediatrician I talk to pushes me a bit further towards wanting to be a pediatrician, which I suppose is good.

This was also "supported" (at least in my mind) by my medical interviewing course earlier this afternoon. I had to interview a standardized patient (SP) who was an elderly woman with depression. That was A LOT more difficult than I'd imagine it to be. I knew I was not at my best when I said something like, "I ask about the stairs and walking around because we're concerned about falls, which could be very bad in the elderly," and the SP responded with, "Oh, I never really thought about myself as being elderly, I guess I am . . ." Shit. For crying out loud, she was supposed to be 75!! There were 1-2 more other instances where I kind of froze up in my mind as I paused to think how to best phrase my next question - it didn't help though. Apparently I came across as being "more clinical" compared to the other M1 who interviewed her just prior, who instead came across as "more empathetic." Blah!! I don't know. I guess I can't quite connect with older patients as I can with younger patients. It somehow feels "weird" to me, like I have to be extra respectful and/or extra cautious about what I say around older patients. I guess I'll figure out how this pans out during rotations.

And speaking of different medical specialties, I've noticed some distinct trends. Psychiatrists keep stressing how it's okay to see them and how all other specialties will come across patients with mental issues (which is true), but it almost seems as if they're "preemptively" fighting the stigma attached to psychiatry and trying to legitimizing their field in medicine. Family physicians keep trying to defend themselves as a legitimate specialty and deserving of recognition, and how they're not slackers and actually really important. Pediatricians keep emphasizing how understanding they are about having families, placing families above work, and how woman-friendly the field is, but also how they (for some reason) earn in the lowest income bracket right next to family physicians. Surgeons keep going on about how great surgery is . . . but fail to mention how little of a life they have otherwise. Primary care physicians (internal med, peds, family med) keep trying to defend themselves against surgeons. It's all quite interesting.

One of the things that (right now) draws me to peds is some of the things I keep hearing said. How in peds you can watch kids grow up - sometimes from when they're a baby until they go off to college, how you become a part of their families, and how the kids consider you "their doctor." When kids think of the doctor they immediately think of their pediatricians, and you're the first impact on young people concerning medicine. There's a special honor in that, I think. The pediatricians I've talked to all seem really happy and really laid back, even the ones who do surgeries.

Lastly, my class is more gunner-ish than I thought. People have already lined up mentors for summer research and I haven't even started yet! People have already begun shadowing physicians left and right. I'm starting to feel like I constantly have to step up my game, but I just want some time to unwind and relax - like, REALLY relax. I really really need to catch up on studying this weekend - I'm more than a week behind in practically all my classes. So much for Halloween weekend, lol.

1 comment:

James said...

I wish I had a remedy for your being alone. Unfortunately I know all too well the feeling, and I know nothing that cures it short of a bf.

And you're right about the child's doctor leaving a lasting impression. Dr. Sachs, my first doctor, and my childhood doctor, is the best doctor I've ever had. He was a military doctor, so he didn't take crap from irresponsible parents. He was always gentle and confident with me, though, and I never felt bad or nervous or scared around him. Something else to think of, Dr. Sachs picked good nurses that knew how to deal with children. I think part of being a good doctor, esp a pediatrician, is picking staff members that are as equally concerned about the children as you are.