Thursday, November 16, 2006

Shortened contacts, deadened feelings

I have struggled these past few weeks to write anything. Nothing comes, and certainly nothing poignant or meaningful. Not that I have not enjoyed myself, indeed, much of what I've been up to has been fascinating, but not in a sense it is easy to relate. As I said in an earlier post, I'm not sure I like not having much contact with my patient, seeing them for an hour, tops, before going to write a note and wash my hands of them, in essence.

And I regret it. One of my patients was in WWII, and is quite excited to relate the fact that he was in the Pacific campaign for 36 months. He fought his way from Australia towards Japan for three years, but even now, I don't have to try and make up a pseudonym for him, because I don't remember his name. He's the guy with a probable pulmonary embolism.

So I'm left reconsidering whether specialty medicine is for me. Specialists do have better hours, fewer headaches, and more interesting cases, not to mention more knowledge and more respect, but they also see only a narrow piece of their patients lives. At least on a consult service.

The good news is, I have two years to make up my mind about a specialty. And the better news is that in less than six months, I'll be Nathan, MD.


Alex said...

Yay "Nathan, MD"!
In six months I'll be "Alex, BA"
Not as much of a ring I admit, maybe someday I'll add an MA.

zhoen said...


My spouse has said that if he ever gets his PhD (history, not med) he will make his PARENTS call him Doctor.