Me: Lately I’m thinking I might not be cut out for medicine.
Friend: What? Why?
Me: Well, because everyone is shadowing on top of their research this summer. Except me. And I’m not even doing real research. So do I not love this enough? Am I going to be one of those really unhappy, bitter doctors?
Friend: … AP, I love you, but that may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
And that’s why you need good friends in med school. I’ve never felt more relieved after being told I was being neurotic.
It doesn’t faze me. In fact, it would happen a hell of a lot more often if people could, for example, see what I read (though the fact that they can’t is a major Kindle advantage): “Case Files: Family Medicine“, “Brain CT Scans in Clinical Practice“, “Practical Psychoanalysis“, and currently working my way through “First Aid for the Medicine Clerkship” one chapter a day. Total overkill, I know. I can’t help it.
(I really want to balance that out by telling you about all the times I’ve skipped mandatory classes and turned homework in late, just because I could. But I’m not sure these 2 extremes actually do balance out – instead of ‘normal’, I suspect they just make me ‘a neurotic slacker’.)
Our school’s clinical year starts in only 6 months. It seems like a lot of time, but there’s just so much to review before then. And sure, I know clinical students aren’t expected to know that much, but I also feel like the people who tell me this all came from schools where they take Step 1 beforehand.
We don’t. We take Step 1 after our clinical year. So I can’t help but feel like my pre-studying is sort of legitimate. Besides, I could really do without ever having another conversation like this:
Me: I’m just going to start by checking out your eyes, okay? *readying opthalmoscope*
Patient: Oh, good! You can tell me if I have cataracts!
Me, in Alternate Reality: …. Yeah, that does seem like something I should be able to do, huh? *pause* What are ‘cataracts’?
Me, in Reality: Well, I’ll take a look, but you’ll have to check with your physician – I’m just a student.
Patient: What the hell kind of student carries an eye-scope but can’t check for cataracts?
Me: … that would be a fair question, yes.
Might have something to do with my lack of shadowing, now that I think of it.