Confused Physician

Let’s just jumble up a few adjectives to a person “A”, loves to travel, socialize and misses the periodic studying that “A” did for med school, but hates the actual work, which involves understanding and creating a rapport with the patients.

Shadowing her physician is not that encouraging either because “A” learns less and knows more that the physician. “A” lacks what most interns in other hospitals have, the endless list of unending , needy patients to treat and care for.

Last week “A” decided to confront her senior, told him that the days how she passed Internship were not fruitful, giving follow ups on healthy individuals who were solely admitted to the hospital for investigations seemed so useless.  Then “A” doubts her empathy level, tries to remember the med school days when “A “dreamt of being the most kind and caring individual. “A” then tries to re-evaluate her dreams of how her life would go, which direction would be the greatest gift to mankind?

Doctors in training,go through a phase where they either degrade to their very core or they triumph their miseries.  “A” is a classic example of a confused, doubting physician. She keeps asking herself, is, this what I want to do for the rest of my life? Taking the extra headache of caring and worrying about her patient’s safety? Did I insert the IV set properly? Did the Cather reach the urethra? Will my patient die on my watch? Will I be excluded from the medical association because of my medical error?

When in self doubt, “A” decided, to evaluate what she liked in life, the things that made her happy and self satisfying. At the end of the day, being a physician meant worrying and being less satisfied because she knows that things that she does now, has no value. There is a shortage of doctors everywhere in the developing countries and she is here following an internship protocol and treating patients which eventually are supervised by seniors. “A” wants to be felt needed. Place me in a rural health camp, let’s just travel and treat patients in need instead of handling VIP patients, says “A”, as enthusiastic as she can be when it comes to travel and work.

There are two types of physicians, the indoor ones and the outdoor ones. Life was never limited to buildings and a single nation for “A”, the sky was the limit and so she does decides on what she wants to do for the rest of her life. So, you see doubting and being confused about what you want to do for the rest of your life is a natural process that eventually each meds go through. Figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life is  a mixture of how you were brought up as an individual and it definitely does not depend on how much you scored or ranked in med school!




What do you want to become?

When a simple question gets asked, how many of us can speak for our mind? Surgery is amazing and I would consider surgery as a potential career for the rest of my life but nobody gives a crap to women surgeons! Why should I spend my golden years of learning into something where just because I have a different set of sex organs than a male counterpart make the biggest pitfall in my career?

Half an hour later the chief Cardiac surgeon asks me to double glove my hand. He took my left hand and introduced it into a man chest cavity and I was feeling all the thrust that the human heart produces. It beats like a machine, a fleshy non-mechanical pump which beats 24 hrs a day, 7 days in a week and 365 days in a year.

My Cardio-thoracic rotation may be brief but the past few days have meant so much to me.  Accepting the fact that I would not be practicing or doing what I am being a part of now can be utterly disappointing to a certain extent but if I ever had a patient who had a history of CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft ), I can understand the patient well, I can be more empathetic and I can become a better doctor . At the end of day that’s what we all look forward to isn’t it?

As the days pass and I get to be a part of different surgeries I keep telling myself that even if I don’t see myself as a surgeon, I want to learn so much from what the internship program has to offer. Stitching people up or just applying a band-aid or removing a drain. I want to master in the small tinny things that a basic doctor would know.

It’s hard to find place for feminism in surgery. It’s a chapter that I am pretty much sure every female doctor wishes for and then silently closes it because she has no backup mechanism. If lives are saved by giving medicines instead of doing surgeries than this is what the society and the people that make of it get.
Two more months of looking, feeling and absorbing all that surgery has to offer, making the most of it is what I look forward to. There are different ways of deciding what one wants do after MBBS. There are personal life decisions, there are skills that one would like to harvest and there are those that ask the general population.

“What do you want to become?”

[Feel Free to share your thoughts and options, would love to hear from you all! ]





Internship Report

Sebaceous cyst is the most common swelling that I have seen in surgery so far. Luckily, I was a part of a surgery were we dissected the cyst. I was with the patient from day she entered the ER room, until the day she was discharged. I started off my internship program with surgery and I have four months to grasp it all.

Two years back, if you asked me what I thought of studying for my post graduation, I would have never uttered surgery. But for the past one month, I keep asking myself why I never studied surgery as keenly as I did for Medicine or other subjects for my boards.

Working or being a part of something that you studied for your boards have really helped me stay motivated, even if it takes 6 hrs to finish in an Operation, just to hold a retractor or a sucker. Staying in my room for almost 4 months and trying to be a memorizer queen has finally paid off. But I keep asking my seniors why we could not mix the clinical years of study with internship?

Most of my work, as Christina Yang (a character in Grays Anatomy) would say is scut work, involves writing history, discharge notes, removing drains and cutting stitches. Basically being the junior most, who gets pushed around by seniors!

I have never been so busy. There are shifts, rounds, follow ups, dressing and even more OT assistance and have ER duty once in a month. So I am physically not available in room as I used to. I spend so much time in the hospital that makes me less assessable to wander in my thoughts and blog about it.

I had an unusual experience today, which helped me remember how much, blogging helped me overcome that. I was more close to patients when I was in med school. when I blogged as a med student, I had less time to spend with them and today I have to be in charge of 14-20 everyday. Being close to patients by describing how their experience was magical for me and I missed that.

“Patients are like babies, they need my constant attention, and they need to know that I am there for them all around the clock, even when I am the junior most and a learner, they are my babies until they get discharged.” And without writing the above statement in my blog, I forget how to handle patients. And as of today, I promise to write more heart touching tales from my journey in Internship.

Few days back someone in my twitter account said that, I quote, “I look for compassion when I hire my doctors” and I just bluntly replied with” med schools don’t teach that” and the respondent agreed and I decided to consider compassion to be  a mixture of empathy and being able to enjoy what you do all day long.

Thank you folks and stay tuned for more blog updates!