November 18, 2009

now that med school is finally over, i miss it so!! sometimes i have to pinch myself and look at my calendar to make sure that there really is NO MORE UNI. has it really been five years? FIVE long, gruelling (okay, not that gruelling), insane years of anatomy/physiology/pathology/internal med/surgery? was i really eighteen when all this first started? wowza.

i spent the whole of yesterday and today in bed doing crosswords and watching shows. the feeling of not having anything to do is somewhat strange. i miss being in the hospital, (pretending to be) busying myself with patient admissions and whatnot, gawking at unusual presentations of rare diseases and generally fantasizing about being in the Land of The Employed next year.

while i am truly glad and thankful for it to be all over, i am also overcome with trepidation and anxiety for what is to come. it all sounds too scary to be true- writing up prescriptions and drug charts, admitting patients, being on ward calls, emergencies, certifying deaths… gone is the comfortable role of ‘medical student’, where one never has to write a drug chart (unless illegally) or make sure that the patient gets her CT scan done by hook or by crook, or ring the consultant at 2am in the morning with trepidation. a medical student comes and goes as one pleases, follows one of the doctors around and asks to be given some ‘work’ to do. one is often offered menial tasks like putting in drips and taking bloods and checking up lab results. if one is lucky, there is an opportunity to do an admission, or a cool procedure like a punch biopsy or a lumbar puncture. if one is truly down on one’s luck, then a slew of boring discharge summaries is thrust in one’s way with a kindly voice that goes “well you don’t really have to do it if you don’t want to, BUT it would be good for your learning”, and then one knows that one is trapped. (something i’ll try with my fifth-years next year) ahaha 🙂

i’ll say it again: i miss med school, i miss the frivolity and fun of being students, i miss having something to do when i wake up (but come january i will sorely regret this). can’t say med school was always a joyride but i got through unscathed, and i had SO much fun! i really enjoyed being a part of the team, and even though i whine a lot, admitting delirious patients and doing paperwork was tolerable, and the honour of meeting so many incredible people who have inspired and influenced my career choices has been amazing… and of course, the patients. being in a position to help others is the best thing that ever happened to me, and being a support pillar for a sick person really reminds me that i too, can be strong when i have to be.

my favourite memory of med school happened when i was in obstetrics last year, and i helped deliver a baby from a 36 year old female who had schizophrenia, a drug addiction and a criminal record. it was her 6th child, and all her previous 5 children had been put into foster care. together with her partner, they reeked of alcohol and cigarettes/pot in the delivery suite. she was aloof, cranky and potty-mouthed. it was difficult but i told myself not to judge, that i was there to do my job and be kind and supportive. after the delivery (which was by far the easiest and quickest one i’d ever done), i was getting ready to walk out of the hospital when i saw her out on the foyer, smoking a cigarette. she caught my eye, smiled and waved to me, then yelled “thanks! you did great!” over to me as i left. it was the best kind of fulfilment, because i knew it was God’s way of telling me that i was made for this crazy job. 🙂

ahhh those were the good old days. and better days yet to come!!


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