Peering around the door anxiously, my eyes connected once again with the receptionist. After receiving her knowing glance, I once again stepped away from the doorway. It was 9:02. My first experience shadowing a pediatrician and interviewing patients was slated to begin promptly at 9 am. Instead, I stood nervously against the doorframe in my new, crisp white jacket awaiting the arrival of the doctor, questioning if I had mistaken the meeting time or place. As a new medical student, I was anxious about my interaction with the doctor. Not only was this taking away from my study schedule, a million other worries flooded my mind.
“To most physicians my illness is a routine incident in their rounds, while for me it’s the crisis of my life. I would feel better if I had a doctor who at least perceived this incongruity.” –Anatole Broyard. When I first encountered Broyard’s quote, it resonated with me on a personal level, as I was reminded of an incident that occurred on my surgical rotation.
I had just finished my second test in medical school. I flopped down next to a fellow student I met barely a month ago, exasperated and on the verge of tears. I was exhausted and quickly becoming emotional, realizing I was too uncertain about a (large) handful of those musculoskeletal questions.