One day next week -- I'm not yet sure which day -- I will return north to our condo and to Quarter 3 of the pre-clerkshi[ program of medical school. I will go with much less trepidation then I went last year. I didn't even admit in my blog that I was there last year until I'd been there a solid month and knew I wasn't going to flunk out in the first quarter. I'm still afraid of what lies ahead, but the fear does not paralyze me any longer. It's merely a matter of accepting that someone will dies in spite of everything I do, and chances are that somone will die sonner or later because of what I did or did not do.
I hate to think that I will inadvertently cause the death of a patient, but the odds, I've been told, are overwhelmingly in favor of it. A future physician or surgeon has to hope that the person whose life his or her actions ends didn't have too much time left on the planet. Also, one has to hope the malpractice insurance that comes with medical school or internship/residency is as good as one was told it was,
Even House of House, M.D. fame lost a patient once in a while, and that was in TVland where everything has a happy ending unless it's a really depressing program. i like the idea of being a doctor. I'm just not sure hw much I'll like the responsibility that comes with it. My instincts tell me that someone from my generation has to step up and control the scalpel or prescription pad or whatever, and on paper, at least, I'm more qualified than most. I still have a fear, though, rational or otherwise, of what's going to happen when the buck actually stops with me.
This summer has been nice and low-pressure. I've been totally responsible for two different babies at various times, but help was never much more than five minutes away if I had needed it, and I was fortunate enough not to need it. Caring for the babies has given me confidence in providing health care for babies and even children to a degree, but I'm scared to death of the time when a 55-year-old heart attack patient is wheeled through the E.R. doors and right at me. This year I'll see some of that, though I won't be responsible for making any decisions.
I've been told that third-year medical school is the second hardest year of a doctor's life, second only to internship or the first ear of a residency. People say to enjoy this year because it's the calm before the storm. I would enjoy this year if i were not so terrified of next year. On the other hand, who really knows if next year will ever come? At mass today the priest's homily dealt with time, and the inly time we're guaranteed is this moment. It makes no sense to waste it worrying about future difficult moments. Still, I worry anyway.