DEDICATED TO ALL Medical Students.

Below is a post I came across on Doctors Hangout. Worth a read:

The arduous journey begins somewhere when we impulsively get hooked on to Biology in spite of being good at Physics, Math and Chemistry. You begin to nurture the dream by juggling hard with P, C, B….
A good CET rank is the first step in the murky, uncertain waters of Medicine. Medical college is like the quick sand that engulfs you and sucks you into an unknown void even before you know what is happening. Deadlier than the most poisonous asphyxiant it squeezes the life out of you by suffocating you with vigorous pressure.
If Anatomy or Biochemistry fails to scare you, Clinical medicine or viva shall surely blow the sail out of your winds. If you thought passing the exams was a relief, wait till the work load of internship consumes you.
If you thought internals and exams caused you loss of sleep wait till the frenzy night duties make you a nocturnal zombie. But the worst frustration begins even before the joy of being a graduate of medicine sinks in.
If you thought you realized your dream of being a doctor and you deserve adulation, you will realize only after being hurt incessantly by pestering relatives that a MBBS degree is like a baby babble, a toddlers first step- nobody listens to you and you are still not strong enough to stand on your own feet.
You’ll soon realize that the world doesn’t care about your self-esteem of being a MBBS doctor when every tom, dick and harry that is unworthy of a simple degree tells you that only MBBS is useless; Or when unrelated strangers ask you ’when will you do MD?’
The first sign of frustration sets in when you realize that all your strenuous and perseverant efforts all these years haven’t been able to get you respect, lucre, position and glamour-the things you had long since attached with being a doctor.
Seeing your nerdy seniors struggling with various entrances, their various agendas, and methods of preparation and numerous coaching classes that treat you like a nursery student, you now get really scared of the long journey ahead.
Peer pressure makes you believe getting a PG seat is all that matters. If you can sustain the combined efforts of frustration and stagnation to subdue you and show resilience with each failure you may succeed in getting a PG seat after at least a year of intense struggle.
The hectic schedule, the lack of a social life, continuous subservience to seniors and professors, coordinating between two hotheaded consultants and over-burdening academics takes away the charm of long cherished PG life. If you learn to pull yourself smoothly out of tricky situations and maintain good rapport with your HOD and books simultaneously, you may pass your final exam without any hassle. No, the life is not settled yet.
You just sailed through one of the rough tides of this turbulent sea. The politics in professional practice, the cut-throat competition, the bickering and back-stabbing show you the ugly face of your profession. Although appointed as a consultant, even now you are just a kid that recently graduated from boyhood.
After all these struggles you now realize people seek experience. And now you wait for your hair to turn grey if the life’s friction hasn’t bleached them already. But even in this demoralizing list of endless struggles, if you are a good and humane doctor, once in a while you will encounter a situation that erases all your frustrations in a moment; that eases out all your tensions for a moment; that makes you feel worthy of your life full of struggles.
That is the momentous occasion when a patient who presented in a critical state and was revived back to normalcy thanks you profusely and says with folded hands and teary eyes “you are a veritable god for me”. The contentment you feel within is probably more worthy than anything money could buy !
Thank you God for making me a doctor !!
— Dr. Subrahmanyam Karuturi

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Dream and the after thought.

I was so tired yesterday. Never realized when I fell asleep only to have this dream which I can never forget.

The Vivid Dream:
Dream that made me cry in bed. A very bad dream. It was the last day of my friend at college as she was discontinuing due to some health issues. The bell had rung and classes were cancelled. I haven’t met her since long. She has left with another friend of mine. I run down stairs. I am crying like a lunatic. She stops at the balcony. I want to go and see her. Some one stops me from behind. I don’t stop. I go forward. She turns around, I couldn’t identify her. She has gone so weak unable to even talk or smile. She is less than half the size of what she was, mere skin and bone. I hug her, she couldn’t even hug me back. 😥 There was just a silence. I drop down crying endlessly and inconsolably. Then I wake up to find my pillow wet.

Train of thoughts:
 This dream makes me wonder if I am a game for all the pain and suffering one goes through. Being a doctor, I have seen the suffering, have suppressed my real emotions and gathered the courage to show compassion and console the ill and the grieving family. Yet there have been times when I have turned blind eye and walked away being indifferent to the happening as I knew I would loose my composure and let my colleagues handle the situation. If not, could I face the such a situation without these defense mechanisms?

It hurts whenever a patient you had been close to, in just 2-3 days, becomes worse or passes away. I can’t imagine (lest that comes in my dreams and wetting pillow) the same thing about my loved ones. Hearing about those who have seen their loved ones suffer till the dooms day, walking with them, seeing them worsen daily and still feeling helpless that they can’t reduce the pain of their loved ones suffering. All they can do is to give them emotional support, which sounds ridiculous as they themselves are emotionally shattered! Still they manage to fake a smile and lie by giving word of hope to their loved one knowing the inevitable bitter truth.

  That is why, I assume, experienced doctors avoid emotional trip by not getting too personnel with their patients, but only to be slandered as being indifferent and snout doctor . And the profession demands such a behavior else its difficult to face what we come across chronically on the floor. Which they try to do by being objective, faking that they are strong to face death as a normal event, use sarcasm and humor while talking to vent out the emotional burden. It puts them through so much of stress that some, not all, succumb alcohol or psychedelics. Sad, but that is the truth, thanks to high level of emotional, mental and physical stress a doctor has to go through. People think doctors are heartless, ultra practical jerks but in reality they experience high degree of emotional turmoil which they have to cope up with or it is not possible to the kind of job being done to save the life at the cost of their own mental sanity.

Yes, I have faked the strength to face death regularly and I will continue to do so. As it is said “Fake it till you make it” and it holds good for everyone. Every bit of me wants me to drop there and cry when I can’t see that kid whom I was following up for past a week, who used to greet me with a smile every morning and today the bed is empty. But I know, I have to move on. Life goes on. Back to being doctor on floor.

Dated: 30/12/2012

PS: this is straight from my diary, these are my thoughts hope not to offend my fellow medicos and others.