Monday, May 24, 2004

hi, bitter med student!

Vin is pissed!

The majority of the e-mail I get is very nice. Thanks, nice e-mailers! But here was an e-mail I got today.

Someone at my medschool thought it cool to forward to everyone your website. Clearly you have too much time on your hands. After practicing as a nurse in critical care and just about everywhere else in acute care I decided to go to med school not only because I wanted to test myself but also because I knew many interns and residents who belittled those they cared for and who constantly showed their dim wittedness in their choices and comments. You are a shining example of this. The very fact that you took the time to post your thoughts on the internet show that you not only have too much time on your hands but that you have an overwhelming self importance typical of most medical students. I'm sure that your residency is as cushy and the never heard of by anyone else high school and college you went to. And hopefully the children you see will be saved by your superiors. Next time you feel like sharing your thoughts for the world... stop and think... do I really want to say anything about the fucking patients or any other fucking idtiots (except yourself).... and if the answer is anything but no... talk to yourself in the shower and don't insult students, attendings, residents and most of all patients... seriously....

students of eastern virginia medical school

The best part of this e-mail? The fact that that the sender's name in the e-mail was entered as "Vin Diesl" [sic]. (I loved you in "Triple X," by the way.) Look, don't get all bent out of shape, man (or lady). I'm sure you and your friends are very smart and dedicated. And angry! Heh, no really, let's just be friends. We're all in the same boat here. And I'm going to overlook that remark about the "cushy residency that no one's ever heard of"--I know better than to get into that kind of conversation.

Anyway, I'm back for my last week in the NICU. I've had some very sick patients in my time there, but I think that they're all turning the bend (or I hope so, at least), so I'll have some very sick but not critically sick kids to hand back off to the next team. They're not getting better terribly quickly, mind you, but that's how it goes in the NICU. Day by day by day, gaining gram by gram by gram if not sidelined by any number of catastrophies large and small. At least none of my kids are fungemic anymore.

One thing that I've realized during my month in the NICU is that while I love Pediatrics, I think my personal bent is more towards acute care and less towards the primary care. Not that I don't like going to clinic and seeing my patients week after week, but everyone has their interests and passions. And, I hate to admit it, but I really get sick of filling out those school forms, WIC papers, working papers, school physicals, Early Intervention referrals and what have you. I need to find some sort of a job in Pediatrics where I don't have to do that. Or, barring the existence of such a job, at least one where I don't have to fill out such forms every day.

OK, so enough with this vague talk about passions and interests--I'll tell you the real moment that I figured out that I probably wasn't going to do General Peds. In clinic last week, our usual lecture was supplanted by a case discussion, where my preceptor brought up an interesting patient that she had and solicited our suggestions for how to deal with this patient's particular problems. By the way, I love our preceptors and the lectures that she gives; I think they're so applicable to general practice and she gives such real-world, practical advice. (For example, one week, we went down the block to the local Farmacia to just look at the prices of all the over-the-counter medications, the formulations and dosing forms, and learned which meds were covered by Medicaid and which weren't. See, practical knowledge.) But this week, I just couldn't get into the case.

The case, to sum, was that of a child who refused to wear clothing.

The mom of this patient is distraught. How can she send this child to school? He won't wear clothes! When Mom puts clothes on him, he screams and tears them off. This has been going on for a week! What to do for the little guy? She's tried everything. Bribes, looser clothing, attempting to clothe him surreptitiously while he's asleep. No dice. The kid just doesn't want to wear clothes.

That's when I realized: I'm not smart enough to go into General Peds. I'll pick a Pediatric subspecialty, know a lot about one area, but there's no way I can get a handle around all of General Pediatrics and be good at it too. There's just too much to know, and kids are just too hard to understand.

Currently reading: "Singular Intimacies". This book is as good as people said it was, but it's a little uncomfortable to read. Hits a little too close to home, you know? I loved the scenes in the OR. How many times in med school did I contaminated myself and had to re-scrub and gown? Come to think of it, I just did this two months ago, after scrubbing for a C-section.

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