The practice of medicine has been part of my life for 15+ years now. The lessons keep coming. Just when I think I've got a great handle on things, new information comes out or I see something I've never seen before.
Here's what I've learned so far in medicine.
1) The learning doesn't stop at med school, residency or fellowship. That just scratches the surface. God, I was such a little punk then. Clueless.
2) Most of what is learned doesn't come from a book. It comes from experience, or it comes from instinct (a fancy word for experience + gut feeling). And it comes from trial and error.
3) Dr. House is right. Patients lie. All the time. Unless you can get them to trust you and tell you the whole ugly truth. Sometimes this will happen. But usually not when it involves controlled substance prescriptions.
4) There is humor in anything, even the process of dying. Sounds sick, right? Many patients have told me that they appreciate feeling "human" when I can still make (appropriate of course) jokes with them, even as they enter hospice. Everyone deserves to be treated like a human, not a collection or organs.
5) Emotional separation is necessary and possibly career-preserving for the physician. It's possible to care but not absorb all of the pain and suffering. Not having this ability to separate from the situation leads to depression and burnout. (been there)
6) No way will I ever meet every single person's needs. Ever. I get hateful messages when I take a week off. Or, a patient yells at the staff to get them their prescription rightth is minute and the patient doesn't particularly care that I'm out of the office on an emergency to save a mother/baby.
7) Good nurses save my ass. And sometimes cover it. This is why I kiss theirs.
8) Calculating dosages of medication at 3am is not safe for anyone involved.
9) I would have made much more money and had much less debt and much better work hours if I'd gotten an MBA. But holding a new baby is way better than holding a spreadsheet. Any. Day. Of. The. Week.
10) It's better to be lucky than good. Being both is nirvana.
Bonus) Spending two hours of suturing a massive injury ("I don't know how the chainsaw got away from me, doc.") is still one of the most relaxing activities around. Satisfying, too. And fun, especially when the patient regales me with tales of how the injury occurred. Sometimes these tales are even true.
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
November 2022 September 2022 August 2022 June 2022 May 2022 February 2022 January 2021 November 2020 August 2020 July 2020 May 2020 January 2020 November 2019 September 2019 August 2019 July 2019 March 2019 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014
All Adventures With Hubby Airports Author Interviews Cats Fastdrafting Funny Medicine Hell's Valley Series Hell To Pay Series Medicine Potpourri Star Trek Top 10 Lists Writing Writing Vs Medicine