Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Would You Do It All Again?
There is no doubt that medical education is particularly aggressive. The ego, like a scab picked over and over, maintains a solid exterior . The skin becomes leathery and tough. Our behavior subtlety changes. A patient is quietly castigated or a child is allowed to whimper without the benefit of our empathic touch. There is an attempt to assault the victim. Instead of facing the difficulties and harsh realities of dumb luck, it's easier to cogitate blame.
If they had just exercised more and eaten better!
There is an urge to cower and protect oneself. In residency, many imagine that they are under siege. They devise a plot where the world is out to get them. The poor CHF'er in the emergency room on thanksgiving morning no longer becomes the wounded soul in need of healing, he becomes an agent of torture.
Those who read my writing will scoff. They will say that I exaggerate, and point to the ideas expressed on this blog as proof. But I will counter. Words on a page are much easier than real life. They are more safe and require less action. I have known the coldness and bitterness that goes along with doctoring. Accusations find their target on my chest from time to time. And often they are deserved.
So it comes as little surprise that I paused when asked by the exuberant young college student if I would do it all again. Her eyes scrunched together and her lips pursed in anticipation as she waited impatiently for my response.
Ultimately, the answer is yes. But it's a calculated and often unsteady answer. I would do it differently.
I would hold on to my idealism more tightly.
I would try not to protect myself so much.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 5:23 AM