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January 31, 2007

Stress, school, and what life?

Every time a new class begins there is that anticipation deep within your stomach for the first test. Will I sit down and not even be able to understand the questions or did I miss the major concepts? Then the first test comes and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. The questions are just like any other and we all return to our usually routines. For somepeople that is studying during the day and going out in the evening. For others that means catching 6 hours of sleep instead of 3 they had become acustom to. For me that means I will study from the time class ends until I go to sleep at night. I will get 7 hours of sleep at night. But the fact remains for me that I still do not devote the time to me that I would like to or need to. My husband still lives 3 hours away and trips to visit him occur only for special occassions. We will talk on the phone, but the thought of neuroanatomy always lingers in my head and causes conversations to end prematurely. Balance.....hmmm......this word is still alludes me. I have been called the biggest geek, loser, and nerd and laugh it off. But just below the surface I yearn for balance and enjoyment in my life. I miss my family and friends whom I have abandone to travel this road. I believe in my heart that I will achieve this thing they call balance someday, but how will I begin.

My weekend plans include....
Friday night- a date with neurophysiology
Saturday- the ascending and descending tracts of the spinal cord
Sunday- I might as well read ahead because I know I will be behind all next week

Oh the weekend I am looking forward to!

January 9, 2007

Questions

All I have to do is ask a patient questions and listen. Well that sounds easy enough. Just talk to someone like you would a friend. This should come easy to me, I love to talk to people, but for some reason when I get into that exam room I flow out yes or no questions. I could talk to a perfect stranger for 30 minutes, but the art of history taking seems to escape me. Someone comes in with a sore throat I automatically ask when it started. All the doctors I have liked in the past cared about who I was as a person, but I forget about that when I am the "doctor." I ask about fevers, chills, drainage, lossing their voice, vomiting, medications they are taking, but fail to ask how their day is going.

The good news is I don't think I am alone, I believe that there are other people who are having the same problem, but still how am I going to change the bad habit of mine? Although we are taught to think of our patients as a cell, I need to first think of the patient as a person. A living, breathing person who has a life that they might want to share with me or what might help me understand this illness even. So instead of thinking how am I going to treat this ilness, I need to think how am I going to treat this person!!!!!

Wow, this is what medical school does to you. I came into school mocking any professor who said a cancer patient and I am even worse. I am talking to people only as a means to getting at their illness. It seems as if I wish I could just look in someone's mouth or take a blood test I could treat them and not have to bother with all this talking.

I am a little bit crushed in this revelation. I have lost the very part of medicine that makes me so excited. So I end for now with a final thought.
......I want to go into medicine because I want to be with people in their troubles and joys and the medicine is just my way of doing that. It is the patients that drive my passion, not the disease......