Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I recently rediscovered some of my clinical rotation musings. Enjoy...


Since my last writing I've moved from no longer wanting to be a surgeon to falling in love with pediatrics. I often wonder to what extent students' specialty decisions are influenced by their rotation experience. My pediatric experience was phenomenal. The most organized rotation I have seen yet. But more than the syllabus and organization of the rotation, were the people. For the first time, I saw myself in these attendings and residents. I saw qualities that are dear to me being reflected in these individuals -- advocacy, service, compassion. I saw an environment where residents and attendings shared mutual respect, not chilling fear or measured disdain. The atmosphere was one where I was always excited to be there, where I welcomed the challenge. Had I done my rotation elsewhere, would I have felt the same way about pediatrics?

To write is to bare all. To opt to put things only known to you out in the open for the world to experience and criticize. To do such takes bravery. Bravery I may be lacking. The journey in medicine should involve sincere introspection as one decides on specialty, writes personal statements and interacts with varied patients. It should involve growth. I sometimes feel like the self I know is slowly drifting away. Is this what growth is?


Fell sick for the first time in the OR today. Put my mask on too tight? All of a sudden I was diaphoretic, the mask gnawing at my carotids and smothering each breath. The plastic shield, now glued to my forehead by droplets of sweat, was no longer transparent. Condensation rendered me blind.
  For the first time, the smell of burning flesh made me nauseous.

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