'profession' is defined as being of service to the public, a self-governing body, and a master of a specific body of knowledge.
so during our crash course into the clinical year, we had a lecture on professionalism. just a little three-hour reminder that we’re to hold ourselves to the utmost highest in standards of behaviour, expression, responsibility, integrity, [insert more words]. and now that we’re to effectively enter the workforce, we have to be proactive about our learning whilst understanding that we are at the bottom-most of the totem pole. seriously. I can’t even bring myself to make eye contact with my superiors, I’m too busy introducing myself with an apology and fighting the urge to grovel.
what I imagine my intern/resident/attending sees when I open my mouth: awww you’re so lost it’s aDORable. but seriously, get out of that cup.
did you know that students can be on academic probation if we’re bad at answering communications? also, that it’s apparently one of the best predictors of who is going to end up in the red with their state medical board? O LOR’. doomed, I am. there goes my would-be-but-maybe-not-anymore-burgeoning medical career. my own honourable parents shoot me an email every once a month or so, with a lovely little ‘please give us a call or send us an email or shoot up some smoke signals or even just a goddamn text when you can, we love you and miss you!’ tinged with sadness. elicits all sorts of guilty feelings, because seriously is it that hard for me to just let them know I’m still alive? (yes, yes it is) there’s this preoccupation with staying constantly connected, be it through the fbooks, the emails, the twitter, the snapchats, the texts, and it’s exhausting. I mean, that doesn’t really apply to the whole ‘hi parents, I have not yet given up the good fight!’ message thing—that’s just cause I’m a jerk, I guess.
what I look like at the end of the day. and after talking to people. and after smiling for 9 hours straight. still alive? debatable.
you may suspect that I have zero friends. that would be true.
back to the professionalism shtick: probably won’t have an issue with respect for others cf. overly casual language or demeanour. thank you my overly developed sense of stranger danger; I’m more at risk of coming off as cold and aloof because of my crippling social anxieties. my dear grammy’s iron-fisted control over not letting me roll in my sleep—also the reason why I have a super flat head—tag teamed with father’s periodic warnings to never trust anyone because they’re always out to get you—pretty much made certain that I never reached that developmental milestone. also probably-maybe-hopefully won’t have an issue with “appears callous, dispassionate, or insensitive in the face of others’ suffering or distress” because I usually retreat into hello kitty, bug-eyed, dog-registered, accent-magically-comes-back-super-strong girly voice when I face hierarchy. again cf. stranger danger. and my growing up in a culture of self-deprecation and habitual undercutting of my performance per luck rather than skill pretty much guarantees that issues with ‘self-promoting or arrogant’ are nil.
ahahahahehehehugh made of awkward.
but conscientiousness cf. not responding to emails and phone calls promptly, professional boundaries cf. ‘exhibits inappropriate use of social interaction, language, humour, physical contact or self-disclosure in interactions with patients, families, peers, team members or staff’…less clear. part and parcel is also romantic encounters in the professional setting. which may [not] be a problem. my last encounter with a man can basically be distilled to, “I’ve been hitting on you all night and you never even noticed!” and “wait you mean you’re NOT gay?!”
and even now, ‘makes inappropriate disclosures about self, patients, or institution on internet/social networking sites’…is that what I’m doing here? should I stop this? yes. yes, I’mma stop now and painstakingly comb through all my entries for unprofessionalism.
later kittens. I missed you.
bam and I’m back.
College men want to have casual sex, and women want romance, right? Increasingly, however, women are the ones looking to hook up.
'Everything is amazing and nobody is happy' w/Louis CK
so I was going to actually post words, specifically about a ‘how to give bad news’ session that we recently went through, but I’ve been feeling like a poop. probably because I haven’t worked out since rotations started, which I already know is bad news bears, and I’ve been charting the slow involution of my summer abs by obsessively measuring my waist each day. but it’s also probably more because being around stranger-people is exhausting and the fact that I have to somehow have them like me makes me anxious, at which point my instinct is to eat my feelings. I’m a savant for vicious cycles, kittens.
had a panic attack the other day, and a friend brought me soul food. a dangerous venture in and off itself, seeing as I am made of awkward and don’t know how to respond to kindness. so when this friend biked over at 2200 and handed me a plastic baggie filled with the pureness that is his soul (1.5 quart chocolate fudge brownie, 2 pints cookies and cream ice cream, and a bottle of gummy vites), I’m pretty sure I wailed at him for making me fat while simultaneously pledging my undying fealty to my best friend forever. it was sort of a blur. mainly because I was also blinking back sad, fat tears that welled up completely unwelcomed, and I really didn’t want him to have to see me cry into a pint of ice cream.
incidentally, that ice cream was gone in two days. I demolished that 1.5 quart pretty much in a single sitting. pretty sure I have diabetes now.
anyway, when I find myself feeling particularly panicked, when all of my neurotic ticks decide to flare up all at once and I’m angrier than an 8-cm dilated pregnant woman denied an epidural, when I feel—inexplicably and most despairingly—sadder than a vault prolapse (not sure what I’m talking about? google image it and I know you’ll feel sad) and when all my stress has phased into particulate matter that have immediately deposited into my love handles, I like to rewatch this guy and try to remember to breathe.
and a more recent one, also excellent: http://youtu.be/5HbYScltf1c
secrets of telling bad news next time.
Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines [Feminist Parody] “Defined Lines”
posted a parody by Mod Carousel a couple weeks (months?) ago. while the aforementioned is more of an intensely visual parody, this one’s got a good bit of verbal zing to it. enjoy, kittens
Anatomical Man | RMIT University (by rmitmedia)
incidentally, there is a nice pooch on my belly where there wasn’t any before this rotation.
- 1 hour of unsafe drinking water every month
- 2 unsafe plane landings per day at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago
- 16 000 pieces of mail lost every hour
- 22 000 checks deducted from the wrong bank account each hour
- 20 000 incorrect prescriptions every year
- 500 incorrect operations each week
"You need to negotiate things that you are missing…you can’t take that much liberty with the things you’ve signed up for…your lives are pretty much sacrificed for the patient, but you can’t sacrifice yourself.”
> per missing clinical duties because of weddings, life events short of a death in the family, etc. as I’ve expounded upon in great length, medicine is a service industry, I knew that coming in.
a little while back, we had a lecture on essentially taking care of oneself while on the wards, specifically cf. depression and seeking help.
but what if I don’t know if I’m depressed? what if I operate on a baseline level of depressed? what if anhedonia is wnl for me? at what point does depression and the intimate erosion of who I ‘really am’ start, such that it actually mutates ‘who I really am’? I just can’t tell.
is this what people see when they talk to me?
the talk stressed the importance of seeking help for mental health problems or personal issues that students might experience during our clinical year. because if you experience depression, it’ll likely manifest itself as a dip in your performance; the clerkship director, if unaware of your issues, might then interpret your poor performance as disinterest; this interpretation will appear on your transcript as a pass instead of a high pass, or a high pass instead of honours. SO it’d behoove you to seek help and put yourself on whatever meds or therapy schedule you need in order to get yourself back on personal track to get yourself back on academic track.
[full disclosure here], I’d been sitting on an SSRI script that I never filled because I am suspicious of putting things inside of me (tad ironic, I know, for a soon-ha!-to-be medical professional). now this is something some of you may have guessed at, given ample evidence that points to how my resonant frequency hovers almost perpetually around the ‘rage’ and ‘vitriol’ end of the emotional spectrum.
oh yeah, I’m mixing physics here. yum.
so the psychiatrist said that SSRIs will help me ‘lead a fuller life’ and to ‘be more energetic’. that my seemingly excessive personal-emotional-mental suffering is not because of a natural character development, as I’ve accumulated my vast array of formative life experiences, but that it is in fact a mutation—or a poison, or a pathology—one that has eaten away at the person I really should-could-would be. now like all pathologies, there comes a breaking point where it no longer becomes manageable, when one’s defense mechanisms (pathological in nature, in and of themselves) buckle…which was what was apparently happening now. because medschool is a whole other monster, one that has a habit of amplifying all of those ‘character quirks’. so were I to take my SSRI like a good patient, that excessive suffering would end.
now that confuses me, because I don’t remember ever being someone who didn’t overvalue suffering (character building) and struggle (doing the right thing is hard) and restriction/deprivation (fallibility decreases if there are less factors that confound) when it comes to making almost all the important decisions in my life. and even more so because I’m not made of that type of person for whom doing the right thing is easy. or even truly wanted (?) so to me, the psychiatrist seemed to pose a solution to my inexplicable state of constant discontent that would either completely dissolve the defining parts of me into a pool of excessive tranquility. would that be much different from my current ennui? I still think it’s just fatigue that’s dampening the chutzpah.
granted, right now I need about enough daily caffeine in my system to kill a small pony, but I really don’t want to be taking drugs to help facilitate ‘calm’. maybe I actually want to be someone with a ‘highly-reactive temperament’? (if you don’t know to what I’m referring here, check out this blog article: http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2010/10/are-some-temperaments-better-than-others/; in fact, check it out even if you do! and per this tangent, why aren’t we talking about how being minimally reactive is a problem?) any thoughts?
since starting on wards, there’ve been more than a couple fbook posts positively humming with the excitement/thrill/anticipation on actually doing all that ‘student doctoring’ (word of advice: don’t ever refer to yourself as a student doctor when actually on the wards), finally. which, even with my own emotional reticence, is fine and dandy—their prerogative. well I woke up this afternoon, and saw that a classmate had posted something about working his first 18-h shift and 80-h week and was all so incredibly buoyant and gushy about it, saccharinely so. as I read, I found my face involuntarily scrunching into a snarl at his unbridled enthusiasm and sheer cheese. because I work 13 hour nights 5 nights a week and it makes me want to shoot myself. I can forgive all the excitement sharing, but once you put it on fbooks, especially like that—all ‘it truly is a privilege’ and being ‘beyond excited to wake up at 0500 tomorrow for another potential 18-h day’, I just want to shove it back down your face so hard it comes out your rectum.
inverted rectum face. double yum.
lordy I am made of problems. I mean, I actually like this kid.
must go make a presentation on PPROM (preterm premature rupture of membranes) now. so to end on a positive note. to all the other snarly and salty folks out there: as a good friend once told me '…you are not neurotic, you just approach life w/vigor.'