A Sad Realization

Recently, I got to show off some of my skills during a study in my lab.

We were trying a new technique to run a new experiment, hoping that the results could point us in a new direction for a new grant, and might even lead us to work with some new collaborators. In essence, this was a pretty big deal, and the three of us were excited for this new round of surgeries. I was excited to be able to learn something new.

T had previous experience with this certain procedure, so he was in a teaching mood. The first attempt did not go the way he wanted, so he tried a second time before getting the results he wanted… but it was a slow process, and he still wasn’t happy with the procedure.

When I was hired two years ago, one of my training modules was a similar procedure. I managed to get an extra training day to practice this one new procedure over the span of an afternoon. That was the only time I’ve ever even attempted such a thing. So when I saw that T was having difficulty, I asked if he had ever thought of doing it the other way. He asked me to show him.

So two years after training, I was asked point-blank to work my magic. I was shaking in my shoes, but I didn’t hesitate. So I prepped our subject, checked my position twice… and nailed it! M was on the sidelines, praising my wonderful technique. T was happy. I was quite pleased with myself, excited that I had performed well even without having done that procedure in such a long time.

I know that someday, an attending or preceptor is going to say to me, Go do [procedure]. I can’t hesitate. And now I know that I better not speak up if I can’t perform.

I came home to find the newest issue of my neurology magazine waiting for me, a gift subscription from a friend. As I was flipping through this issue, I came upon a letter written by someone with multiple sclerosis (MS). She was describing how scared and upset she was when she was first diagnosed. I know that when I get to the point of making my first diagnoses, I’m going to be so excited that I “got it right”, but in my excitement I may just forget how devastating some of these illnesses may be for my patient. It’s one thing to celebrate success, and another to be a compassionate physician.

I can’t wait to be a medical student. I cannot wait for August to get here so I can begin the process of being a physician. I pray that God molds me into a physician that can excel at diagnosing while still being compassionate and understanding of my patients’ situations and concerns.

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One thought on “A Sad Realization

  1. You’re an amazing, wonderful young woman who is richly blessed by God. He has planted a seed and is watching you grow. Keep you’re eyes on God; seek his direction in all things; and give all praise to him. Smile and know that God loves you!! All this experience has laid the ground work for the future. Love you alway and proud of you, too!

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