Medical State of Mind

Aug 21

Anonymous said: I am almost a high school graduate and I'm very seriously considering entering the medical field. The only problem is that I've read many articles talking about how difficult and stressful it can all be and I'm worried that I don't have what it takes even though I want it very badly. Do you have any advice?

Medicine is one of those careers where you will not know if you can handle it until you get your feet wet. There are no words to really convey the mental and physical highs and lows that it puts you through. 

Everything in life that you are passionate about is worth fighting for. I think that if you find yourself drawn to medicine, you find yourself answering the call for something that speaks to you deep within, then I think you should seriously consider it. 

We are all our qualities, from the strengths and weaknesses to the good and bad. The sum of those parts and experiences are what give us the mettle to overcome the challenges we face. Once we believe in ourselves to meet them, we can do wonders. Perhaps the greatest challenge of all is starting. 

We all need to start somewhere in order to get anywhere. That road you take might not necessarily always take you to the original destination you intended. You can always change your mind halfway but that starting momentum is what keeps you moving forward. It allows you to push yourself. 

I would encourage you to take a leap of faith and try anyways if medicine is what beckons you.

Aug 20

A yawn is a silent scream for coffee.

A yawn is a silent scream for coffee.

(Source: bouncyteabag, via drhermy)

Aug 17

Book Review: The Reluctant Intern

Disclosure: I was contacted by the author who provided this book to me without expense. In exchange, I was asked to provide an honest review of this book. I have no affiliation with its author, its publisher or Amazon.

Set in the late 1970s, the Reluctant Intern by Bill Yancey tells the story of Addison Wolfe, a recently graduated doctor who failed to reach his aspirations of working for NASA and instead finds himself in the rotating internship of the University Hospital in Jacksonville. The story chronicles his experience from his first day until his last as an intern.

Read More

Aug 15

[video]

Aug 14

Medical Education, Beware the Hidden Curriculum -

The hidden curriculum is taught by the school, not by any teacher…something is coming across to the pupils which may never be spoken in the English lesson or prayed about in assembly. They are picking-up an approach to living and an attitude to learning.

-Dr. Roland Meighan

Aug 13

Anonymous said: You probably have answered this question, but I didn't see it on a quick scroll through so... Where are you studying medicine?

For many reasons, privacy included, I am unfortunately not at liberty to say at this moment. Perhaps in the future when I have less strings attached I will be able to disclose this. But at the moment my hands are tied.

Aug 12

From medresearch:
Newly discovered heart molecule could lead to effective treatment for heart failure
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown cardiac molecule that could provide a key to treating, and preventing, heart failure.
The newly discovered molecule provides the heart with a tool to block a protein that orchestrates genetic disruptions when the heart is subjected to stress, such as high blood pressure.
When the research team, led by Ching-Pin Chang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, restored levels of the newly discovered molecule in mice experiencing heart failure, the progression to heart failure was stopped. The research was published in the online edition of the journal Nature.
The newly discovered molecule is known as a long non-coding RNA. RNA’s usual role is to carry instructions — the code — from the DNA in a cell’s nucleus to the machinery in the cell that produces proteins necessary for cell activities. In recent years, scientists have discovered several types of RNA that are not involved in protein coding but act on their own. The role in the heart of long non-coding RNA has been unknown.
Read more »
Funding: The research was supported by the American Heart Association; the National Institutes of Health; et. al

From medresearch:

Newly discovered heart molecule could lead to effective treatment for heart failure

Researchers have discovered a previously unknown cardiac molecule that could provide a key to treating, and preventing, heart failure.

The newly discovered molecule provides the heart with a tool to block a protein that orchestrates genetic disruptions when the heart is subjected to stress, such as high blood pressure.

When the research team, led by Ching-Pin Chang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, restored levels of the newly discovered molecule in mice experiencing heart failure, the progression to heart failure was stopped. The research was published in the online edition of the journal Nature.

The newly discovered molecule is known as a long non-coding RNA. RNA’s usual role is to carry instructions — the code — from the DNA in a cell’s nucleus to the machinery in the cell that produces proteins necessary for cell activities. In recent years, scientists have discovered several types of RNA that are not involved in protein coding but act on their own. The role in the heart of long non-coding RNA has been unknown.

Read more »

Funding: The research was supported by the American Heart Association; the National Institutes of Health; et. al

Robin McLaurin Williams (1951-2014).
As a comedian and an actor, Robin Williams was always a naturally gifted stage performer. Despite a lonesome upbringing as the son of a Detroit automotive executive, he had a disarming charm and magnetic personality that quickly elevated him into the public eye.
Like any stage performance, the back stage is always perfectly hidden from view. For a long time, Williams had battled with cocaine abuse, alcoholism, and later in his life, severe depression, each of which he had sought for help and support. Even with the challenges he faced, he continued to bring the gift of joy and laughter to millions.
I never had an opportunity to meet this man in person, but his body of work speaks to his amazing character and the values he held dear. His performance as the gently humorous therapist in Good Will Hunting continues to be an inspiration for the connection I seek to make with my patients.
I am truly saddened by this loss. My condolences to his family.

Robin McLaurin Williams (1951-2014).

As a comedian and an actor, Robin Williams was always a naturally gifted stage performer. Despite a lonesome upbringing as the son of a Detroit automotive executive, he had a disarming charm and magnetic personality that quickly elevated him into the public eye.

Like any stage performance, the back stage is always perfectly hidden from view. For a long time, Williams had battled with cocaine abuse, alcoholism, and later in his life, severe depression, each of which he had sought for help and support. Even with the challenges he faced, he continued to bring the gift of joy and laughter to millions.

I never had an opportunity to meet this man in person, but his body of work speaks to his amazing character and the values he held dear. His performance as the gently humorous therapist in Good Will Hunting continues to be an inspiration for the connection I seek to make with my patients.

I am truly saddened by this loss. My condolences to his family.

Aug 11

Anonymous said: Hello, your blog has been an inspiration for me regarding my aspirations for becoming an MD for almost a year now and I'm confident it will continue to be for much longer. I question myself if I will be physically and emotionally equipped to handle the responsibilities of becoming a physician and was wondering, did you think the same thing before medical school? How did you answer yourself? And do you feel medical school adequately equips you in those domains?

Thanks for your question.

I was definitely in a similar state of mind before going into medical school. In some ways, I still do sometimes. What allowed me to alleviate those fears was the conclusion that every doctor that I will ever meet was exactly where I was then and there, even now. And yet they all have made it.

That is not to say it is an easy process. Medical school and residency are processes that disassemble and rebuild you to fit the mould of the doctor. There is a steep learning curve as you make the transition from academia to clinical work. But eventually, you do get used to the emotional and physical demands of the job.

I would be careful not to equate tolerance with acceptance. Some days the stresses can be overwhelming but between your family, friends, and most importantly your classmates, you find supports to help you through those challenges times.