Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 2016 Blog Post

As the end of the semester looms near, bringing the year to a conclusion, various things have started to come into focus and the results of my decisions are coming closer to fruition--for better or worse.

Thanksgiving break is/was the first real vacation I've had since the beginning of this program. Although it was a bit overwhelming to take an exam so soon after the previous one, I was grateful for the week of breathing room it provided me. An overabundance of small tasks and errands had begun to pile up due to my commitments to both school and work. Laundry, personal relationships, cooking, self-care and washing my car demanded my attention, but regularly coming home post 2 AM did not make addressing any of these concerns very appealing. Simply put, after all, these months of adjusting, studying and working, I am not where I expected myself to be. The idealistic dreams of a summer time student who was grateful to be accepted into this prestigious program did not result in the realities of my current situation.

But I can't say I am completely disappointed in myself because I did put in the time and effort, just in inefficient or ineffective ways that I could not have known without trying. In the same manner, my time and effort resulted in experiences that I didn't expect either.

This past Tuesday as I volunteered at the Goldring nutrition center again, I was saddened to see that all the previous volunteers and students  had ended their services after the Thanksgiving course, and a new group of medical students had come in to replace them. Having to learn new names, and becoming accustomed to new co-workers was a practice I had gone through a few too many times in recent months. Despite this, introductions were done naturally in between small break periods of work and the class went as smoothly as ever. In fact, some of the dishes that night were the best I had ever had.

I also began seeing my coworkers, fellow students, and fellow volunteers overlapping into my different work/school/casual spheres. I was given a glimpse of these individuals in a setting I was accustomed to. Although what always seems like a common trope in these blog posts came as a pleasant surprise to me. These same individuals who I looked up to, respected and in some cases idolized, also struggled with the same menial tasks that plagued me. In a sobering moment, I realized that these individuals were just as "human" or fallible as I was.  This caused me to further respect these individuals as well as reinvigorate my pursuit for medicine and personal professionalism.

Life has its ups and downs, wrapped up in the ever flavorful Christmas wrapping called "Life Lessons". I'm sure these life lessons won't be ending anytime soon and will arrive just as unexpectedly for the rest of my studies or my career. Doctors are notoriously plagued by burnout and career exhaustion, and when that time comes, I'll look to my colleagues and myself, as a reminder to take on the task with the same invigoration and tenacity that I currently have writing this blog and studying for this final exam and upcoming semester.

November Hours Completed: 6.5 Hours
Hours to Date: 42.75 hours

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October 2016 Blog

October has been the month of sacrifices and tradeoffs. Now that a sense of normalcy has been established and a schedule or routine is almost imminent, it is only normal to expect a host of changeups and turn of events that would derail said schedule. Changes in work schedule, friends visiting, meal prep and class times are some of the milder things I have encountered. Sometimes these changes are beneficial, such as when the volunteer kitchen has to cancel class right before an exam, and sometimes they are more troublesome such as having to double on cooking recipes and portions in the same class time frame.

Being able to adapt to these changes is a life skill that everyone must learn at one time another. Sometimes the changes are subtle, and others they are madly drastic. I personally feel that one of the responsibilities of being a medical professional is being able to quickly adjust to these different changes, but in a cool calm collected manner that ensures our patients trust in us. Patients come to us not only as sick specimens but also as individuals who need may need medical counseling and ease of mind as they approach their unsure changes.

Although these changes in life may come suddenly, and when we may least need it, they are also an opportunity for us to flex our knowledge and skills, proving to our patients that we are the right candidates for their trust.