Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Surreal Ending

My Wonderful Family!

The quasi-doctor phase of this journey into the medical field; a medical school graduate, on my way to residency. It doesn't feel real. But, it sure does make me feel grateful. When I started college at Hillsdale, I imagined graduating from medical school would feel more complete. Another reminder that feeling as though I "have arrived" is not realistic. Nor is it the goal.

And the world's greatest parents at our promotion ceremony! 

I feel as if God has gone before me in each and every phase of this adventure. I've learned a lot. Like how to treat hyperkalemia, that insurance companies will test your patience, and that it takes three 8 hour board exams to obtain a license. But, my favorite parts are what I've learned about people.

People. A territory of unknown experiences, pain, and wisdom. And diseases. But, that's not why I love medicine.When I think back on the past four years, the best part hasn't been our amazing cardiology course, state of the art medical technology, or the pearls of medical wisdom passed down from our mentors. It's been the people. My teachers, my classmates, the patients, the families. They've provided the true pearls.

1. Don't stereotype. 
Not only could it lead to a missed diagnosis, but it also makes you cold. My first impression has been wrong in so many instances that I've had the privilege of learning this one over and over. While stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, there are always exceptions. A wise surgeon in Alaska told me I had two options. To take every patient at their word, giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Or, to be skeptical, always questioning if they are in your office seeking secondary gain, unwarranted unemployment benefits, or pain medications. The first will make you compassionate, the second bitter. I think what he was saying was have the eyes of Jesus. Everyone has their own story.

2. Rely on other people. 
I used to pride myself on independence. But, I've grown to believe that independence is a weakness. And I've been fortunate enough to meet some of the coolest people in the world. To lean on them, to be stretched by them, and to share moments of joy, fear, and sadness with them. God have Adam Eve for a reason. 

3. Be prepared to be unprepared. 
No matter how detailed the chart you read before entering a patient room, it's impossible to be prepared. In fact, some doctors choose not to read the chart before entering the room. I used to think a lot about asking the right questions, even the right way to introduce myself. While it's important to be prepared, I think it's more important to be prepared for anything--entering every new patient and subsequently, new experience, with an open mind. I think it gives us the attitude to see the beauty in the world around us. Or as John Michael Montgomery likes to say, "Life's a dance, you learn as you go."
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. 
Proverbs 19:21 

4. Resting is underrated. 
There has got to be a physiologic reason why I enjoy being horizontal so much. When I have my own office, I'll figure out a way to hang a hammock in it. Whether it involves REM sleep or not, being able to take a break is important. And they have to be protected.
...and on the seventh day He rested from all his work. 
Genesis 2:2

5. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Theodore Roosevelt hit the nail on the head with this one. This may be my biggest work in progress. Be it classmates, colleagues, family members, or friends, comparison will suck the life out of a person. It's paralyzing. 
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 
1 Corinthians 12:18

No comments:

Post a Comment