So apparently Metropolis Med requires us all to take a Narrative Medicine class this fall. I’m fairly certain this is the first I’ve ever heard of this requirement, which probably means I haven’t been paying attention.
Options include classes like Journaling The Med School Experience, Life Drawing, Fiction Writing, and Napping! I AM SO ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THIS.
(… okay, that last one is technically called “Meditation And The Art of Something-or-other“. But, c’mon: the homework requirement? Is “practicing relaxation techniques”. I think we can all read between those lines.)
Hooray, writing! Hooray, drawing!
… Hooray, everyone-who-would-rather-be-studying-real-medicine-wanting-to-pelt-me-with-bricks!
The only thing standing between me and a semester of Fiction Writing awesomeness is a lack of time. As much as I’d love to say, “Hey, what’s one more straw on the camel’s back?”, the reality is that I’ve already committed to a ridiculously (some might say “stupidly”) time-consuming leadership position on top of med school.
(Also, the minor point that I’m incapable of writing fiction. I never learn. I have 2 scary-awful novels locked in a drawer back home to prove it.)
But I don’t think that means I need to give up entirely by joining the lottery for the napping class. Maybe I’ll compromise and sign-up for Life Drawing. Or, better yet, the non-fiction “Journaling The Med School Experience, Which Is Totally Different From Blogging On Account of How It’s Much More Elegant-Sounding” class. That sounds like a winner.
I’m not sure how important your anonymity is to you, but I can see it being VERY tempting to post your “homework” here or using your blog posts as your homework.
Life drawing sounds fun, although my experience with the few art classes I took in college was that they were surprisingly time-consuming.
I’m a Buddhist, so I meditate…regularly? Okay, that might be over-stating it, but there seem to be two camps for meditation: Camp option #1 features those who fall asleep, and camp option #2 features those who think about sex so they won’t fall asleep. Just a little tip in case you find yourself drifting off in meditation class!
Yeah, that’s both the appeal and the problem with the blogging class. Kind of tough. Maybe I could write posts for homework and then hold them in reserve for awhile…
Haha, thanks for the meditation tip!
It’s interesting your school is having you do this. I think I would be annoyed by the requirement because I’d feel like I was being nagged to do something I was already doing, but also because I’d feel compelled to write in complete sentences and make my journaling more socially acceptable to the doctors that would be grading me (i.e. boring). I have paranoid visions of turning in a piece, and then being lectured about professionalism based on something I wrote that someone took the wrong way.
Is that horribly bratty and irrational of me? I think possibly. I’m curious how it will go for you. Keep us posted!
Here’s hoping that the instructor would let me get away with pushing the levity envelope a little! Especially since we’re P/F.
(Actually, I should probably find this out from an M2. But they’re on clinical rotations now, so chances of me finding someone to ask are slim.)
1. Pretty sure you should be able to clep-out lol.
2. You basically just lost your anonymity if anyone from your school or someone who knows your school reads this blog – this cannot be a common requirement.
In other news, I’m a little jealous. I want to use my blog as homework. We just had to write stupid papers over what we want to be when we grow up (well, a doctor, actually) and how our lives have changed since med school (um, what life?).
1. Haha, I wish! (Also: papers about what you want to be when you grow up? That’s hilarious.)
2. Oh man, my school anonymity only lasted a month or so. The M2s figured it out back in October. Turns out that you can’t have school anonymity while still being honest about your orientation start date, test schedule and course line-up. 🙂
I think they’re onto you…
Could definitely be an elaborate trap.. 😉
Nice classes! It sounds much better than our version of ‘narrative medicine’ – we were subjected to endless lectures about how a patient’s narrative makes up his identity blah blah.
If you’d like to try your hand at writing fiction, why not try NaNoWriMo? You won’t be graded and no one will blame you for not winning. Apparently, people who don’t have enough time usually do better than those who have loads of spare time… 🙂
I love NaNoWriMo! I’ve won it twice and it was a lot of fun both times. I’ll probably end up doing it again someday – I like to think that each successive novel I write gets slightly less crappy. 🙂
Wow, things have changed since I was in med school. If we had two minutes to go to the bathroom, the anatomy prof whined that we should be spending it in the lab. “Narrative” ? I can hear my profs snickering.
You’d probably get a real kick out of the new curriculums set up by our schools these days. Trust exercises, essays written from your patient’s point of view, entire courses on how to talk to patients (not how to take a history, mind you – just how to make polite and respectful small talk), sharing circles… it’s a weird mix of graduate education and 3rd grade.