The funny thing with medicine is how it can really put you on the highest highs after you go through the crappiest lows. For some odd reason, I just felt like I could dominate anything today …. I was ready to help out my attending when possible even though I probably didn’t know what I was doing a good majority of the time …. yet I kept my attention sharp (not to mention 5-hour Energy really helped though the stuff tastes really gross). I assisted in a laparoscopic appendenctomy and though I don’t see myself really being a surgeon, I just loved learning about it. I mean, there’s still a good amount of medicine incorporated into it with regards to patient management and whatnot. It was interesting, all those drawbacks I noticed of being a primary care physician kind of were shot down today … I don’t know what it was but I just felt extremely excited to become a doctor.
I just love to learn. And I love to teach. In fact, despite the fact that I need more study time for my surgery shelf exam, I agreed to volunteer for the student clinic this Saturday because people in my class just wouldn’t sign up. C’mon, people, give back to the community that contributed to you!!! If I didn’t get Friday off, I wouldn’t have done this but since I did, I figured I could go to NOLA early Friday, study, then attend clinic Saturday and drive back afterwards.
It was interesting, my attending’s story kind of inspired me to put myself out there. He told me that when he used to work as staff for an institution, he came to help a resident out who needed help for a patient on trauma surgery and this was after she had asked her own attendings for assistance and their response was, “You’re a chief resident now, figure it out yourself.”
Yes, as we advance further in the hierarchy of doctors we continue to learn how to become better physicians. Yet like my own attending, I don’t believe in punishing people for not understanding something …. for goodness sake, a patient’s life is involved here!!! You can’t call someone weak for not being able to deal with something, we all have different learning curves.
But yes, after hearing this story, it gave me an idea of the type of resident and future attending I aspire to become. Let’s just say I love to teach and I feel the best way to inspire people is really to give them the opportunity to learn. Sure, they will initially be thrown at the wolves as a starting point but don’t make them feel bad for how much they don’t know … instead encourage them to learn further.
As the upperclass(wo)man at student clinics, I tend to make the lowerclass people see the patients and perform the physical exams. It is because I personally feel that I learn best when I’m made to do stuff. And since I’m already interviewing and seeing patients as much as I can on a daily basis, it would be better for those who don’t get to do that get a heads start prior to their clerkship year. Yet when they are doubtful of what’s going on or are unsure of themselves, I avoid berating them for not knowing. I try to teach them as much as I can and hope that I can encourage them to get more interested in learning more. I’ve always appreciated residents and attendings who were very enthusiastic about teaching us students.
Gosh … I love medicine.
It’s these moments I remember how much I really do love I’m doing … despite the hardships, despite the distance and loneliness from my family, despite the precariousness of my future with regards to training and where I live …. I’ve never felt so happy to be in such a rewarding and amazing field of work.