Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fun and the Future

Even with so much to do, medical students can still have a little fun. The last weekend I went to a house party, with drinking and silly stuff, then to a shooting range, then a BBQ and a turkey dinner, and then played computer games all night. It's nice to know that we can kick back occasionally, but we better enjoy it now, because it's going to get a lot worse. The number of drugs we need to memorize is steadily adding up - I wish I knew them all as well as I know drugs like tylenol or omeprazole, typical OTC drugs that I've known about most of my life.

We're getting into hypertension lectures, angina, coronary artery disease (CAD), congestive heart failure (CHF) and similar problems. It's funny, with all the talk about eating healthy, and how CAD can be seen as early as in teenagers or people in their twenties - the food I'm craving the most right now is fast food. I haven't craved it in ages, but here we are.

Every so often, the curriculum at our school throws in a "Managing Stress" class, where we are told ways to deal with stress, as well as the kinds of stress we are going to encounter (which of course gives us a lot of stress right then and there). Today, the doctor teaching the class was talking about how the first two years of medical school are a breeze compared to third and fourth years when you begin your clinical rotations and have to use whole different sets of skills (communcation versus booksmarts). Then she went on to say you think rotations are bad, wait til residency - where there will be hallways or stairwells essentially devoted to hiding and crying when your attending shouts the crap out of you. I imagine something like Dr. Cox from Scrubs, except no one is laughing. She then added how even then, you start your internship somewhere and it's just as bad - with more power comes more responsibility, which comes with more and more work. It's like being spider man except that everyone knows where you live and you're expected to work 16 hours straight.

As she talked about us being on rotations or in residencies, I couldn't help picturing how some of my classmates would be during rotations - getting picked on by the attending, or stepping into a patient room with an air of authority and asking them what the problem is and trying to help. Now that I know more about a doctor's thought processes, and my classmates' strengths and weaknesses, it is hard to picture myself as a patient of theirs - putting my problem in their hands and trusting their judgment. Though, in my mind at least, I always picture my classmates looking very proper, professional, and knowledgeable in these situations. I suppose that means I have a good amount of respect for my peers as future physicians and human beings (well, most of them - there's always a couple you wouldn't want as your doctor). Hopefully I'll pull everything together and become as awesome a physician as I picture most of my peers becoming.

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