Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy

5Dec/05Off

Well, yet again I'm burnt out. This time it's only been really for the past day and a half, but the super-long 8-hour study session marathons for 2 weeks have taken their toll. Exams are next week, and I'm sitting here, doing laundry, chatting on IM, thinking that maybe now would be a good time to fire up the (now dusty) PS2. I miss video games.

I'm sure I'll do fine, but frankly it's just really, really hard to keep struggling uphill through all of this. It's the pressure of it, too... the pressure to perform. I mean, I'll be blatantly honest. At this point, I'm not going to fail any of my classes. I know several of my classmates for whom that's a concern, and I'm grateful it's not me. Still and all, now there's a second question. Can I honor? And does it matter? Honoring is only important if you want to get into competitive residencies.

I suppose I'm starting to think that it does. I know myself, and I know that I like fun toys, and really difficult things, and procedural stuff. That means the more competitive residencies, whether it be laparoscopic surgery, or ER, or what. I highly doubt I'll be a GP. It's too sedentary, in a way. That being said, GPs are the gatekeepers, and need to keep all of their medicine so that they can correctly funnel people's issues to the right specialists. I'm definitely not trying to knock on GPs.

One of the 4th years I've talked to said that you find out eventually if you have a medical or a surgical mind. Medical minds like to sit around and think about the problem for long periods of time. They mull over differential diagnoses. They, in an ER setting, will pull up a patient's past history and peruse it before entering the room. They are the kind of people who go on to be neurologists, GPs, and shrinks. Surgical minds, on the other hand, want answers. They like results, and quick fixes, and decisions. They (obviously) tend to be surgeons, and ER docs, and radiologists. They are the ER doc who walks into the room and instinctively knows if someone is sick or faking (interestingly enough, apparently there is some level of secondary cues
that you can learn to pick up on- acidosis, ketosis, jaundice, etc that are not normal in healthy people).

I don't really know where I fall. I do know that sitting around in small groups and not getting anywhere for an hour on a case kills me. I also know that I really enjoy getting the answer "right". Wait-and-see doesn't really appeal to me (a few entries ago, the example of the woman with the ulcers is a perfect example).

Eh. I'm procrastinating. I should be working, so that I can get honors, so I can go on to be a cardiovascular surgeon making $600,000 a year with a huge house, fast cars, and 3 divorced trophy wives I pay alimony to.

Sarcasm, of course. I guess, though, I've always been the kind of person who likes to keep all my doors open. Keeping doors open means honoring. Honoring means kicking my ass for the next 2 weeks, drinking 5 sodas and coffee every day, sleeping poorly, and grunting through it.

On the blackboard outside our classroom somebody wrote "It's hard to see the forest... because the trees are in the way".

Someone else wrote in reply "...but the trees are so beautiful!"

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