Monday, March 13, 2017

Block 7 Week 8: I just want to wrap up in a blanket on my couch and play video games

So there's this motivational speaker guy that I follow on Facebook. He's really awesome. He was born without any arms or legs, and he travels around and speaks and writes books and is generally a great dude. I see his posts and they are all like, don't let your problems slow you down, turn them into stepping stones or some kinda flowery language like that. Most of the time, I'm all like, yeah dude, let's get it! But not today. Today, I want to go home and get under the covers and pretend like I don't have SP tomorrow.

I know I write this blog and I'm always like, hey, I'm so blessed to be here, and things get hard, but you just have to work hard and you'll get there. And most of the time I feel like that. But today. UGH. Blame it on Daylight Saving Time (if I ever get a straight answer on who thought it was a good idea to start a Monday an hour in the hole, Imma dig him up and kick him right in the butt), or Monday, or the fact that we are starting week 9, or any number of bummer things that are going on. It's just that this is a hard place to be. I don't want to study or practice for my standardized patient for tomorrow.

The thing that a lot of medical students will tell you about this undertaking is that you have to pass on a lot of fun things that the rest of the world gets to do while you are becoming a doctor. And most of the time you can tell yourself that it will all be worth it when you are living the dream. But I read an article this morning that pretty much just dumped a truckload of sand on that idea. This is the article: Sleep Deprived Docs Disclose Hospital Horrors. To sum up, the ACGME (that's who is in charge of medical education in residency after graduation from medical school) approved a return to 28-hour shifts for doctors in residency. The article discusses some anecdotes of doctors' experiences after a long call period. It is scary and horrifying.

See, as a medical student, there are some things about our education that are kind of a drag. Like sometimes an instructor of a particular class might not be presenting the most up-to-date clinically-oriented information, and we get frustrated. Or maybe I did bad on an exam, and it makes me feel like I'm not working hard enough. The rigors of the first two years sometimes wear you down and you just feel in the dumps. But you tell yourself, hey, we are so close to clinicals, and getting closer to graduation, then residency, and then being a "real doctor!" However, it's really hard to look forward to the next step when it looks like what these interns are experiencing in that article.

It doesn't make sense to me that anyone thinks it is a good idea to have a sleep-deprived intern practicing medicine. If truck drivers don't get enough sleep, they cause 60-car pileups on the freeway.  If a physician doesn't get enough sleep, the attending smacks him on the butt and sends him into the ER to work up the next patient. What does a 60-car pileup look like in an ER? Or in the NICU? I don't think I want to know. I certainly don't want to be the intern responsible for a bad patient outcome simply because I fell asleep while I was supposed to be working up a head injury.

I'm really sorry for the bummer blog post today. I have to remind myself that this path I'm on is a calling for me, and I'm not promised that it will be fun and rosy when it's all done. All I know is this is what I'm supposed to be doing. It would be a lot easier if I was sure that spending all this time becoming led to something better than what the doctors in that article have experienced. It would make it a lot easier to give up being with my family and blanket-wrapped video game times. And not all days are like this for sure. It's just today kinda sucks.

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