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.
Ugh, seriously, everyone in the nursing program here is getting tech jobs and I’m . . . not. But then, I feel like they’re getting tech jobs because they all want to stay in the area, and it’s nigh impossible to get a job as a new graduate at Giant Hospital Co. without ever working there before. Maybe the shadowing thing is the same way, although you all are in school so long it’s hard to imagine you would have to start trying to get your name in somewhere that early! I dunno, I’m leaning toward the opinion that your class is filled with over-eager gunners that will burn themselves out and sink into bitterness and anger and end up, you know, dueling their patients or whatever, a la Star Wars.
Awesome. I’m sure I’m a gunner too, but I totally wouldn’t mind sinking into bitterness and anger if I could duel people a la Star Wars! Even if they were patients. WORTH IT.
… wait,no. That was the wrong reaction, wasn’t it? Damn.
No, not the wrong reaction. It’s the only nursing intervention I would fully support.
Other nurse: There’s a code in room 17, we need someone else to trade out for compressions!
Me: Fuck off, I’m Darth Vader!
Patient: I will not fight you, father!
Me: YOU ARE UNWISE TO LOWER YOUR DEFENSES!
Just tell them that to evaluate cataracts, they need a dilated exam. It’s the truth 🙂