One of the things that I love about science is that you can be immersed in biochemistry and anatomy when suddenly you stumble into something very moving, and you realize that you are at the crux of life and death. Take this preface to a lecture on growth hormone, delivered by a very old man with a thick Czech accent:
When you get to the delivery room you will understand what a miracle it is that from a fertilized egg such a cute human being is born, and you will be touched by the expression in the eyes in the mother when she sees the baby for the first time.
This week a quiet wave of concern spread among some of the female med students as we were subjected to several lectures about how fertility diminishes with age — beginning in the late 30s and completed by the early 40s — with few words of comfort or encouragement about our own futures, given the years of training we have ahead. We had to remind ourselves and each other that many of our mothers had us at those ages; but it would have been nice to hear such reminders from some of the women doctors at school. Instead, one professor (a PhD) told us that her friend in med school had been told “better freeze your eggs now!” — the underlying assumption being that this was a somewhat offensive warning, but it wasn’t really contradicted in the retelling. I guess we should worry less about ourselves and more about our patients: don’t take this stuff so personally, that is.
I was just sent a book in the mail about med school and motherhood called This Won’t Hurt a Bit (And Other White Lies): My Education in Medicine & Motherhood. The author, Dr. Michelle Au, had a baby during residency. She too kept a blog in med school; she is now an anesthesiologist in Atlanta. An inspiration to us all.
Scrambled Eggs (get it?) with Scallions and Tomatoes
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 chopped tomato
- 1-2 scallions, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- dash canola oil
- dash soy sauce
The Med School Cookbook offers a weekly account of the challenges and wonders of med school as seen through the eyes of a student. Each post includes a healthy and easy recipe designed for busy people on a budget. Read the daily blog here.