Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"I'm sorry, I am only a medical student."

     So..........graduation is over. I am officially Dr. Amanda. While I am THRILLED that all of my hard work throughout the past 4 years........actually since the beginning of college (that is how long is takes to complete all of the necessary pre-requisistes for medical school) has earned me that title, I cannot help but feel a little bit of nostalgia for being a medical student. I know that may sound crazy, because all every medical student wants is to be called "doctor," but as the dean of my school reminded us, as our degrees were conferred, the responsibility that comes with the title is enormous. I now confer your degree "with all of the rights, titles, privileges, and responsibilities that come with it" is how he phrased it exactly.
      The next time I walk into a hospital, I will be somebody's doctor. The same is true for every one of the students in my class, and every 4th year medical student in the country. That fact is a little bit scary. A LOT scary actually. I am also 100% sure that it is just as scary, if not scarier, for the potential patients we will treat. During my rotations I used to wish I was the doctor so that I could actually make my own decisions and do my own procedures, but I also found comfort in my go to excuse "I am so sorry, I am not sure/can't do anything. I am only a medical student, but I would be happy to go and speak to the doctor for you."
      That excuse was useful in a multitude of situations, most of them stressful. I loved participating in  patient care, but I was always happy that I was not allowed to make decisions by myself, because that meant that I could not hurt or harm the patient by making the WRONG decision. I always had to check with the resident or the attending before doing anything. I had someone watching over me while I did a procedure, to make sure I did it correctly, or help guide me if I was stuck. Now, my excuse is gone. All bets are off. I am pretty sure they are not going to throw us interns to the wolves-we will (obviously) be working under more experienced residents and attendings. However, we will be expected to make our own decisions and be confident in them. I am pretty sure that I have gained no extra medical knowledge in the past 2 days (days in which my status has been changed from a medical student to a doctor), but I can hope that this will be a situation where there is an extremely sharp learning curve.
      I have not received my schedule yet, but I hope I begin on a service where the patients are not too sick, where I will not have life and death decisions to make on a daily basis. I would love to ease into residency, learn the flow of the hospital, and make friends with the nurses before being placed in a situation with critical patients. Unfortunately, I do not make the schedule, and I do not believe that I will be granted such luck. As a future anesthesia resident, I am required to complete 2 ICU months before the year is over, and I have a strong feeling that I will be starting there. All I can do, is my best. Study in my (extremely limited) free time, and look to more experienced doctors to help me along the way. I am told that this anxiety is extremely normal, and that in a year, when the next set of interns begin, I will feel like a pro. That is very hard to imagine right now, but I am optimistic.
      On another note, after only 9 months of marriage, I will finally be going on my honeymoon to Greece! So, even though I have so many things to post about, I will probably be a bit MIA for the next week an a half. I will be sure to update you guys and post pictures as soon as I return. In the meantime, happy Memorial Day and may this be your best summer ever (one in which you avoid any and all hospitals in the month of July-just kidding).

1 comment:

  1. You need to change your font. It's painful to read. Other than that, nice blog.