Friday, April 11, 2008

One of those days

Do you ever have one of those days where you are so sure you're forgetting to do something that you actually look down as you leave your car to make sure you remembered to put on pants? That's what I felt like today. I still don't know why, but I do know that I had my pants on all day.


Well, for what seems like the 47th weekend in a row, I will be studying through this one. We have yet another test on Monday. It's almost hard to believe that the last one was only two weeks ago, and at the same time it seems like no time has gone by at all. Maybe it's just because I don't feel like I've learned anything... I feel like that more often than not, but I know that my little pool of knowledge has really been filling lately. All this cardiovascular stuff seemed to be a big mystery a month ago, and now, even though I don't know it all, I feel like I could diagnose and treat heart failure like a good family practice doc should, all the while knowing that for the tough stuff it's "refer, refer, refer...." Not that I plan on being a family practice doc, but if I was destined to cater to the aging population I feel like I almost could at this point. At least theoretically.

Although it's been a frustrating week at school, it has been an interesting one, and one where I learned a lot, if not about heart failure, then about myself. I'll explain. We started our psychiatric unit. Now, I am not learning that I'm crazy, although I know that's what you're thinking, but I'm learning about my own preconceptions and how they shape the way I think about patients. Wednesday we had our first psych interviews. I noticed that as long as a patient is describing physical symptoms, what they do for a living, their family, etc. I am doing alright. Once they start talking about their spiritual beliefs, though, I start to get tense. I think that it comes from a couple of places. The first is that I don't want any one else's beliefs pushed on me, and whenever someone starts talking about it, I feel like that's what they are trying to do. I know this is not the case, and in reality it is probably an important part of how they deal with their illness(es). It's irrational, and I realize now that I need to look out for it and head it off. I also feel like part of my tenseness is my desire not to insult anyone. I don't know all there is to know about spirituality different from my own, and I don't want ot step on any toes by being culturally insensitive. I might not have learned exactly how to handle myself in these situations yet, but I feel like I've learned to look out for my own reaction to this kind of a situation, and it seemed to me to be an important step on my path to becoming a fully functioning physician.

Hopefully I can still manage to have a good time for part of the weekend. Tonight my all time favorite sports team - the Colorado Avalanche - take on someone else's favorite sport's team - you know who you are - and I can't wait to see them mop the ice with them yet again....Go Super Joe!

Tomorrow we have some plans to hang out with some friends, so hopefully I'll have lots of studying done by the time we get going. Back to it for now, gotta get ahead before the puck drops!