Wednesday, February 5, 2014


You might have noticed there have been some design changes around here. I hope you like the new look, I do! In a bout of reflection (read: procrastination), I re-read a bunch of my "med school" posts.

Some reflections...

1. I am SUCH a science geek.
Love of human anatomy? Awestruck by developmental biology? Losing my sensibilities while studying pulmonology?  In disbelief over the fact that we have an aqueduct in our brain? Somethings don't change...

Except now I don't just love it, I fear it. Clinical medicine has shown me up close and personal all the terrible, no good things that can go wrong. Now it's more of a reverence. You've got to pay respect your body so it doesn't go haywire on you. Even if you do pay respects, it still might go bonkers.

2. OMG I have learned so much. 

My posts about the vocabulary I was learning at the time are particular endearing. Medicine is really all about building blocks, which allow you to learn more and more and more.

Mountains and mountains of knowledge.

3. OMG I have forgotten so much. 
This hits me especially as I study for USMLE Step 2. I was like the smartest person in the world when I took Step 1. I really think it's the height of my brain capacity.

Clinical years lead to more medical savvy, but I wouldn't say more medical knowledge...Except of my specific patients. How do you have three patients with cholangiocarcinoma during internal medicine, NMDA receptor encephalitis in neurology, placenta accreta in ob/gyn, but have never treated a patient with Alzheimers or Rheumatoid Arthritis? I've forgotten almost all of neuroanatomy. There is a brain, and spinal cord, and some nerves...(JK I remember a little more than that...)

4. Compassion is the name of the game
I love clinical medicine, because I get to take care of people! I get to figure out what they need medically, but also how to break bad news, break good news, explain tests, ask for help, talk with family, explain that I don't know that answer but I'll find out, explain that we don't know what the heck is going on, explain that we know exactly what is going on but don't have any great treatments, or my personal favorite, we know what is going on and we're going to do something about it! My biggest medical school accomplishment? I am most honored by the fact that I was nominated by my peers to the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

5.  There's just so many ways to be awesome every day!

Medicine is not the end all be all of professions. While for me, it's the right choice, and I'm happy to have the privilege of becoming a doctor. I've gained an ENORMOUS amount of respect for all the other people in the hospital AND the non-health care settings. We need good pharmacists, nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers. We need good parents, good grandparents, good cousins and aunts and uncles and friends. We need good mayors and county supervisors, and state senators. We need good neighbors and small business owners. If there's anything I learned from medical school, is that you certainly don't have to be a doctor to help someone. Just being the best version of yourself. It is SO SO SO important. Be a stay at home mom, be a part time teacher, be an astronaut, be a CEO, or a mailman but make sure you know what your values are, and hold on to them steadfastly.

Okay, I'm all reflected out right now. I'm sure in the future I'll have more reflections to share with you!

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