This time, I answer questions about alternative medicines, the challenges of medicine, the feelings of inadequacy, the unease of dissections, disclosures of personal illness, and late blooming interest in medicine.
To everyone who has sent me a question,
I apologize for the delays in replying. I have been very busy lately in my personal life and have not had as much time to read and answer them. I will try to get to them as quickly as I can. I thank you for your patience and understanding.
Tom of the Medical State of Mind
In the span of twenty minutes while seeing a child in the emergency department, we had bonded over a variety of characters including Spongebob Squarepants, Transformers, Toy Story, Wall-E, and Justice League.
Suffice it to say we spoke the same language and operated on the same wavelength.
I think there are pros and cons to both systems. I feel that it certainly streamlines the process for people who already have an inkling that they are going to pursue medicine in the future but I feel that it comes at the cost of exploring other experiences, youth, and just overall maturity level.
Medicine is a physically and mentally demanding field. I think that having a certain amount of life experience and maturity that only comes with age can give you some level of resilience.
While the more indirect admission system can take longer to complete, I think it works to the benefit of people who may not have realized they were interested in medicine until later on. The age demographic for my class is quite broad, with some members being in their 40s. That level of flexibility and that understanding that not everyone has that epiphany at a young age normalizes the experience. In addition, their added wisdom and experience becomes quite apparent once the educational journey begins.
Yesterday was special. A classmate and dear friend of mine who has been out of province for her residency came back for a weekend getaway. We had an opportunity to meet and catch up on how our respective residencies have been thus far.
While war stories were exchanged, the focus was never about the medicine side of things. It was more about how life has been and what we were up to. It was a nice change of pace from my regular conversations nowadays.
For four hours, we were able to disarm ourselves of our ward personas and talk about regular, “normal” things. From the movies we watched, to my recent vacation stories, to her relationship challenges.
At four hours, that mental vacation seemed too short.
Just when I thought I was out of the woods, I was re-exposed to the most dangerous paediatric affliction of all:
Contrary to its name, this troubling and traumatic condition is just damn hard to let go. It infects the motor and memory recall systems and results in people unconsciously humming or singing to its tune. It has the potential of infecting other people. Prognosis: Very contagious. A full recovery is possible but in the order of weeks so long as you are not re-exposed to it.