Monday, September 6, 2010

In This Regard, I'm Quite Lucky

I'm going to take a brief pause in whining about my overloaded life, though even this post is related to that life. :-/

So yesterday, I was discussing with my friend, Michelle, over the program we've basically re-vamped, sorting things out and whatnot. Michelle is in the process of finding and contacting physicians to be mentors in a unique program through AMSA (American Medical Student Association) that focuses on cultural sensitivity in clinical practice. She's been having difficulty identifying the right physicians to contact.

By happenstance, I knew of several physicians who might be useful for her to contact. These include:

Dr. P = infectious disease - HIV/AIDS patients
Dr. Pi = family medicine - LGBT patients
Dr. S = pediatrics - inner city (most African-American) peds patients
Dr. H = peds infectious disease - HIV/AIDS peds patients
Dr. C = peds infectious disease - internationally adopted peds patients
Dr. L = family medicine - Hmong patients

So right there, 6 physicians who deal with "special populations" in a sense. I've had the pleasure of meeting 5 of the 6 and the privilege of interacting with 4 of the 6 in clinic/on the wards. There are many other med students who can't say the same thing. And so in this regard, I'm quite lucky.

While my interests laid the groundwork, luck played its part in my encounter with each of them. Had I not been interested in pediatrics, infectious diseases, and a diverse patient population, I probably wouldn't have met most of them. And several of them have had a part in shaping what I might want to end up doing.

And so you see, I have this grand ideal career I'd love to have, but I have no expectation whatsoever of ever getting there. To get where I want to end up would require more luck than should be allowed in that I need to be at the right place at the right time and meet the right people and say the right things.

Because you see, what I want do involves the following:
- Clinic 3 days a week, with one of the days being at a clinic in a Chinatown somewhere
- Teach a class 2 days a week
- Be the director of a program (probably public health in nature)

Sounds simple, but it's not. I wonder what the future brings and where it'll take me (hopefully away from here).

P.S. People have brought up interesting points in their comments to my last post. Perhaps I'll devote a post to answering or at least giving my thoughts on the topic. We'll see . . .


Just said...

You have the right to vent ! But yeah I see the perplex dynamics in this ! Aek hope your week is good !

Anonymous said...

Just my opinion, but I think you should pull back at least a little from the extracurriculars. If you don't pass Step 1, then all the extra stuff your doing won't matter. When I was in med school, several of my classmates didn't make it past Step 1 after two years of grueling work.

Getting the residency you want is kind of like getting into med school all over again. Where the extracurriculars were important, but were secondary to grades and MCAT scores. I really recommend making some time to work questions and read review books from now until summer 2011, you will feel so much better going into Step 1 as opposed to cramming First Aid and maybe one other book for 4 to 6 weeks. Cortisol and norepi shoot holes in your memory.

I am not saying that you are not adequately prepared, but just wanted to raise the issue in case it applies to you. Best of luck.

Ron said...

Hmm my current idea of an 'ideal' career is quite different from yours -- involves a lot of hospital-based stuff. Stuff that many docs don't seem to enjoy (and that I probably won't overly like either lol).. If i could be anything tomorrow and have all the skills and knowledge-base for it in an instant...

I'd be an ICU registrar trying to keep normally-dead people alive on a thousand machines surrounding them. It'll be like a little human laboratory. Tinker with a few drugs there, the vent, etc. Physiology in action 24/7. Yum.

Good luck with pursuing your ideal choice of a career. I just hope I can get close to graduating with each passing year..

Last night I was in the OR with a guy for an appendectomy (which they call an appendicectomy here).. smoker 30/day for decades.. anesthesia tried to intubate, pre-oxygenation was crap cuz he had crap lungs. It was intense seeing him de-sat from like 95% to 54% in less than a minute. It was crazy. Sorta freaked everyone out.

He made it out alive lol.

Anyway take care


Anonymous said...

Ditto to the previous comment by the anonymous poster.

Wake up! You should be focusing on getting the highest score you can possibly get on the USMLE Step I, which you will be taking in less than a year. This is what will determine your future and not your silly little LGBT club or APAMSA.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but it would be a shame if you poured so much time into this only to discover, at the end, that all of it was for nothing...

E said...

Though I'm sure AEK really values advice from people with perspective, It is disrespectful to call anyone's interests "silly" or making something they've put work into seem diminutive. It's unwarranted and pejorative. Advice should be given with tact and consideration.

@ AEK - I vacillated over whether to give you encouragement on your three prong aspiration. I will sum it up with: Everything you want is within your grasp. There is probably someone you can point to and say 'that's what I want to do'. It is likely that they were where you are now at some point in their life, wondering how to make that goal possible.

Also, if you feel strained [which is obviously the point of med school ;)] then it might not be a bad idea to cut back.

p.s. It's been 3 months. I think it's time to move me to US West now. :)