“Pobrecito”– she said as we discussed the patient’s pneumonia course before entering his room.
“Pobrecito” – she repeated as we donned our gloves.
“Pobrecito”- she mouthed to us in front of our patient.
“Pobrecito”- she whispered in my ear as we left the room.
That day, “pobrecito” became a word I eliminated from my vocabulary. In Spanish “Pobrecito” translates roughly to “poor thing” or “poor baby” and it is an appropriate word to use to show empathy with an endearing connotation. However, when one of the healthcare providers in the team used it incessantly to show pity in front of my 60 year old patient with cerebral palsy and dementia I began to cringe every time I heard her say it.Read More »
“4 ounces water every mile, half an electrolyte ‘gu’ pack over 2.5 miles, ¼ energy bar every 6 miles.” AKA how did you manage training for a marathon while in medical school? The simple truth: I decided to run a marathon so I did. Longer story: months of rigorous training, more moments of doubt than I care to recall, and insights already positively impacting my medical training.
Training for and running a marathon is a time-intensive commitment of physical and mental endurance. Age-old lessons of “you can accomplish anything you set your mind to; hard work pays off” hold true and gained new meaning for me. Read More »
Coming out of my first year of medical school I struggled with my sense of confidence. After endless nights of studying, a multitude of experiences at our Clinical Training and Assessment Center, and specialized clinical experiences, I felt that I could take on the challenge of counseling patients. On the other hand, when I thought about being on my own to take care of patients, I was terrified. My pharmacology knowledge was insufficient, and even though I knew how to conduct a full physical exam, did I really know what was normal compared to abnormal? These questions proved to me that I lacked the clinical experience necessary to become a good physician.
When I heard of the opportunity to apply for the Leroy Rogers Preceptorship, I immediately knew that it could help bridge the gap between my medical textbooks and clinical knowledge. This program gives preclinical students the opportunity to choose a preceptor for a four week, hands-on family medicine clinical experience. I had shadowed a family physician, Dr. Andrews, in my hometown several times before so I knew he would be the perfect preceptor. I also felt that I would learn from his patients, especially because many are medically underserved.Read More »
“You’re making a terrible decision.” The surgical fellow was on a rant. I stood silently for some thirty minutes trying to maintain my composure as he criticized my decision to apply for a pediatrics residency. This memorable event occurred during my surgical rotation, and yes, during a surgery. Apparently, in this fellow’s view, the biggest problem with pediatrics is that it is a team-based field. When people work as a team, he insisted, everyone “needs to have their own say and nothing gets done.” Instead, he argued for a more directive approach – say what needs to be done and that’s it. End of story, no questions asked…
The Talmud (Taanis 7a) quotes Rabbi Chanina who declared that, “I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues and most from students.” There is a tendency amongst educators, in general and more so, I suspect, amongst medical educators (given their many years of training and vast experience) to take a top-down approach. This approach assumes that we have a contractual relationship wherein “I have the knowledge and we are here so that I can share it with you”.
In contrast, the digital age has humbled many of “our” generation since the best advice when faced with a new piece of digital equipment or software, is to “ask a ten-year old” (even an anonymous ten-year old). But our students?! I submit that example is a challenge – to ego and to the “Central Dogma of Education” that information flow is unidirectional.
I would like to share some of my experiences teaching digital pathology, to perhaps update that notion… Read More »
What do you what to be when you grow up? Do I even have to? Can I cry now? Can I show who I am? I can only hope you will understand and be able to take away from me all that I have… because that is what I want to give.
I am not who you think I am. Strong on the outside… an unstoppable ramble of insecurity, Inquisitiveness and love on the inside. I am a mom, a Maine, a wife, a soldier, a sister, an engineer, a daughter, a student doctor, a neighbor, a college student, a carpool mom, an artist… my own self gets lost behind all these things.
I lost “rank” to save my kids and my husband, but out of curiosity and hope for challenges and to experience life, I have gained so much more. But it hurts sometimes to not be recognized in my current position for the experiences I have had.
At the same time it is hard to focus on the facts in medicine when the very curiosity of life which pulled me in persistently tries to pull me away. ADHD? Maybe… I have never given up… is that my downfall?
Here, regardless, I can be what I am. In art my mistakes open up an opportunity for something wonderful I had never thought of before. In life/medicine my mistakes are lives… more studying and more stress.
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do for my mask, and even now I would need two, ten, or even forty more sessions to have my mask relay everything I wanted it to say. However, I understand that this was not the entire point of this exercise and that the goal was to find another way to work through the stress and in that, I was successful! (I only wish I could cash in its value more often)… Read More »