I’m not really sure what my place is, these days. And whether it still is with this blog. I will forever be Barefootmeds, but will I continue to tread my footprints here?
This morning, I finished my post-intake ward round, said a few unceremonious goodbyes, and walked out.
And off I went.
I removed my nose jewellery recently, and in many ways that decision was as difficult as getting it in the first place.
I started working on this post on two days. Since then, I have received news of a colleague who died in an accident while driving post-call. She went to my alma mater and graduated last year, and though I did not know her personally, my heart breaks. A country with a shortage of doctors has lost a young doctor who was just starting in her career. She was well-loved, and we will all feel her absence.
The first time I partook in a baby’s resuscitation was during my fourth year of medical school. It was a disaster: the wall-suction malfunctioned, the nursing staff were in the precarious business of changing shifts, and all algorithms flew out of the window.
I vowed optimistically that when I was a doctor, I would not let a baby die that way.
I just recently finished a four-month Family Medicine rotation. Our after-hours duties on Family Medicine are as casualty officers at the Accident and Emergency Departments of two different hospitals. Because A&E has high-intensity decision making, our shifts were not allowed to be longer than twelve hours (compare: 24 hour shifts in any other department).
Despite the fact that we live in a century of possibility, it is a world where young people are constantly told to be realistic. Make realistic career choices, be stable, don’t rock the boat too much; and for god’s sake don’t go looking for trouble while traveling abroad.
Shame, I feel sorry for us; because all we want is to belong, but somewhere along the line we have taught ourselves that to belong means to be among people who think like us; never realising how deprived such a community would be.
Before you read what I have to say, you should read Dr Nikki Stamp’s post: How tired is too tired? One day, I’d like to have a study to prove the post title. But for now, we’ll have to settle for another anecdote:
Dear Medical Student: medical school is worth a lot of things. I can tell you that because I went from hating medical school to loving being a doctor (well, on most days).
But it’s not worth that.