The Debt

textbook stethoscope
I haven’t written much here, lately. I’ve still been writing, but my focus has shifted to more work-related things as I draft a “personal statement” for my residency application. As my faithful readers have figured out by now, I’m a 4th year medical student (a little off-cycle after taking extended time off after my second daughter’s birth last year). As I write the statement, I’ve been looking through old journal entries and blog posts from my first blog, A Time for Healing—this post was from my second year of medical school, and other posts on this blog were from early in my third year. I stopped posting there because I worry about HIPAA violations. The HIPAA police actually have me afraid to even open a patient’s chart to follow up on their hospital course after they leave the emergency department—heaven forbid I learn something or care enough about a patient to check on them after they leave my team’s care.

Anyway, I wanted to share my other blog, however neglected, with all of you. I don’t feel like it violates my patients’ rights, but if anyone suggests that it does, I’ll take it down. I spend a lot of time and a lot of words explaining what I don’t believe in. This is what I DO believe in. This is something I stand for, and it’s one of my favorite things to write about. Welcome to my world from 5am to 6pm.

I’ll be back to my usual topics soon, but for tonight—as I consider my experiences and my ambitions for the future while writing my personal statement—I’d rather be an amateur doctor than a counterfeit Christian.

Image © Clearviewstock | Dreamstime.com – Books And Stethoscope Photo

A Time for Healing

Below is an essay I wrote for a contest. It didn’t place, but it does express my heart.

To my first patient:

You startled me with what you said when I walked into the room.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m a big hunk of meat dangling from a tree, and all you kids in your little white coats are hungry coyotes trying to get a piece of me.”

As I nervously washed my hands, I found myself smiling at your oddly poetic metaphor about life as a patient in a teaching hospital. I was a second-year medical student on the first day of my Internal Medicine preceptorship, and you were the first patient I had ever been left alone with. I felt more like a baby bird needing pre-chewed food than a hungry carnivore salivating over meat. I timidly navigated as you retold an eventful medical history that was punctuated…

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