So I’ll start with a disclaimer that’s probably really obvious by now but just in case…
*delays in posts/writing are to be expected due to the nature of third year.
I don’t like it, but it really is how it is.. I hate keeping all the feelings and thoughts “in” and being unable to write them out fully for weeks at a time. I talk to family and friends so I don’t burst but rarely at the kind of length I would writing. But I just want any of you reading this to know it isn’t a neglect thing haha.
So I’m about a week out from the end of my first clinical rotation: Psychiatry. It has been… It’s been… not awful but not great. I have enjoyed this field in regards to the information I’m learning, the experience, and the residents/attendings/staff I’ve worked with. I will always enjoy a clinical experience over a classroom experience. Those of you who know me, know I need to be moving, engaged in everyway possible, and interacting with PEOPLE! So definitely feel grateful to be in this part of my medical education.
I have had some stand out moments for sure while working in psychiatry. I actually have some entries about those days in the next post. I did it that way because I also write little medical journal entries for my medical humanities program (these are they) and I didn’t want them to confuse/distract from some other thoughts and feelings I’m about to unleash haha.
Um, I think the first rotation can be rough in a general sense. As a student in a classroom for the last two years (wherever that may be as a medical student) you are going to be oblivious to a certain degree of how clinicals work exactly. You’ll be excited but you won’t have much to go on other than a couple facts.
1.you’ll see patients
2.you’ll have tests (which means you’ll have things to study)
Other than that, there is pretty much 98% gray area when it comes to the inner workings of it all, and your classroom based preconceived notions will make the transition a little rougher than you might want to admit at first. And there’s lots of factors that play into the transition, upbringing, personality, yada yada yada. The more type A I think the harder it can be, the more go with the flow less difficult.
Moving out of the general to the more specific. My specific. Um… I believe (I believe as in *I know) I mentioned some thoughts regarding my institution in a past post. That post was on a distinct issue taking place at the time, but extrapolating from that…. There have always been some reservations about how the administration operates regarding students, and the way they tend to address or not address concerns. That being said, I tend to focus on my appreciation of being able to study medicine because as long as that is true I am on my way to practicing it, which is all I want. I focus on that and I try to choose my battles. I try to work hard and live in the blessing that is my pursuit and let the rest roll of my shoulders. Y’all know, ought by now at least, my MO. I wake up, my first breath is either a thankful thought or affirmation. I LIKE being happy, being positive, seeing the good, and sharing that. Doesn’t mean I don’t get mad or sad. I do and I process and work my way back to happy. Anyway, all that being said… there are and will be moments, days, weeks, months, for some years where that is challenged or where when picking your battles, you just have to say, “Yep, dat one…I’m fighting. Sign me up. EN-LIST ME!”.
The last several days have hosted many of these moments, or at least the kind to give you lots of emotions and very many pauses. And here’s what’s important about that feeling:
RECOGNZING IT. ASSESSING IT. CHOOSING IT.
What?! Not ACTING ON IT? I know right, weird but hear me out. These times are tricky because feelings are tricky. You have to know yourself and your standards, boundaries etc well enough to identify that gut feeling, that mental shout. You have to stop and assess it, not overanalyze, but make sure it’s not because you had a crap morning, short fuse, or trivial trigger. So maybe sleep on it for day. Next is the choice. If you feel it, identify it, it’s justified, and you willing & ready to stand by your CHOICE…then yes, ACT! Stand and speak, because 10x/10 you are not the only one with qualms in your sphere or situation. 10x/10 no one will act or speak. 10x/10 change has no chance of happening if nothing is said or done. You may be discouraged to do so by peers, colleagues, even those with who FEEL THE SAME WAY, and that’s because of fear. It’s logical to be afraid to lose things when taking a stand. Historically speaking one has rarely occurred without the other, so don’t get mad at them and don’t be swayed by them either. Encourage them to choose. You will hesitate at the thought of consequences, anyone would. But it is how that measures against the consequences of no action.
And I’ll be honest, I have never had so much trouble deciphering my feelings and contemplating where rational meets irrational, and I dislike being in this state very much. But I have talked and talked about where I think my school falls short in student relations/concerns and I’ll be the first to praise where it succeeds in them. But being told you have safe places or people to voice those concerns, that you get to have an opinion with regards to YOUR education, the education you are PAYING for…. Just to realize that voicing those concerns will be shared, gossiped about, or potentially used to mar your character is unacceptable. That keeps students afraid to speak up perpetuates an unsafe environment to be honest leading to unhealthy consequences.
I have been in an emotional dilemma here and there throughout the past several weeks, but my point is less about my process. It’s about the process, this process. If you are not satisfied with your education (staff, resources, content, etc) stop and think about why. I’m targeting this to students, especially medical students because the power dynamic is always very present in the course of this pursuit and that feeling of I’ll lose it all if I say/do anything is REAL and crippling (especially for women, minorities, international grads). I say this to peep you to an experience you may have had or are likely to have. And this is not just for students, this is applicable to anyone in any environment. I say this to encourage you to challenge fearful thinking and consider fearless action when it is truly called for.
And I know there are many things, many injustices in need of fearless action these days, in and out of our country. I won’t get started on that, cause that piece of my heart is trying to mend right now. But I will say really quickly
[I’m still thinking of those lost & those left to hurt in El Paso, Gilroy, and Dayton. Still baffled by how the blind & heartless continue to ignore the state of our nation. We have to SEE this. We have to NAME it. We have to REMEMBER this. If you don’t, you will never act & ACTION is where the true hope lies. There are many fights worth fighting in the states today. I understand if this one may not be your focus... but no matter what fight we have our hand in, there is strength & power in recognizing them all, supporting those you might not be on the frontlines for, educating ourselves on one another and the injustices that matter most to each of us. Violence does not discriminate. So at the root of this fight, is an issue familiar to us all. And if we cared about life the way we ought to, there is room for us to be a part of each other’s teams in each battle of the war on injustice.]
Okay, re-focusing.. we are leaving on high notes, notes of confidence, encouragement, and integrity. You are incredible and equipped with a voice that deserves to be heard. Wishing all of you (my fellow students) the best in your journeys, strength in your battles, power over your obstacles, and health in your lives!
The Third Voice