Friday, May 12, 2006

Some words of advice

My kid sister and her friends leave for the 2nd phase of their medical education soon. For this group, Canada. One step closer to becoming a doctor. Once you get there, once you get those letters behind your name, and take that oath in the presence of faculty, family and God, life will never be the same. For, you will never again be called Mr. or Miss. From that moment on, you are a doctor. Society comes to expect certain things from you.
If there things I wished I'd known when I started out, it would be these. So, just words of advice, survival tips for medical student clerkship or interns, from someone who began this journey years ago:
  • Sleep is essential. Sleep when you can.
  • Eat when you can. And never say no to free food when your attending offers to buy.
  • Don't study from the start to the end of a chapter. Read around your patients. As you shall teach them, you learn from them too.
  • Study smart. Hours don't matter.
  • Never recap the needles. Accidents happen.
  • You can't save all the patients. You have to lose somedays. Such is the circle of life.
  • Life isn't fair.
  • It IS humanly possible to work nonstop for 38 hours. Just when you think your body and mind will give up on you, you might just surprise yourself.
  • You will make mistakes, either by action or inaction. Sometimes the consequence will be fatal. Learn to forgive yourself, and learn from it.
  • Remember, the patient is the one with the disease.
  • Never be too proud or afraid to say 'I don't know'.
  • Learn to brush your teeth and get ready for work in 10 minutes.
  • The nurses own you and your sleep. Never piss them off.

When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things. There will be earth upon which to stand, or you will be given wings to fly.


Blogger caryn said...

thank you, dear brother.. *HUG* so means, i'll be bugging u more from now on.. seeing that we'll almost be in the same time zone.. ;)

1:35 AM  
Anonymous Lavan said...

Dear Vagus,
it's me, Lavan, (again) writing from the frigid wasteland that is bonnie taught me once, a long time ago back in IMU. Anyway, i suppose you've heard the news that non-UK/EAA residents have no chance of competing for medical jobs here since the implementation of the new immigration rules, so i was wondering if you dispense some advice about decamping and moving to the States after housemanship.i know you're very very busy but would ReaLLY appreciate any help. thanks!

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm any advice for new medical students then ?

4:17 AM  

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