Humor can be a double-edged sword; when used inappropriately in the workplace, it can taint interactions between health care providers and detract from professionalism.
Making the choice to study medicine in my homeland is a momentous undertaking, with a surrounding fragile health system deficient of medical supplies and in shortage of expertise. Through this series of articles, I will share my experiences and perspectives on being a medical student in Palestine.
What is the recipe that makes an ideal medical student? Are each of us the summation of perfectly measured ingredients? Are we all weighed to the gram, set to proof until we rise just enough and gently set to bake?
General: / Patient is in NAD, / except for being awoken at 7 a.m. by someone he has never met
During one of my first patient encounters at the clinic, I remember a young and seemingly indifferent patient come in with earbuds plugged in her ears. Her hands tightly grasped the arms of the exam chair as she anxiously awaited the arrival of the clinic optometrist.
This painting, utilizing oil and acrylic paints, was made in the midst of studying for my ongoing classes and boards. There have been a couple diseases that have stuck with me throughout my studies. This disease is a deep-sea themed illustration of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, more commonly known as “Broken Heart Syndrome.”
Medicine is beautiful and interesting, but it can also be challenging in many ways. As medical students, we are expected to work hard, test well, be professional and likeable. These expectations throughout medical school can foster emotions like guilt, stress and the feeling of never being enough.
As we progressed through our other coursework simultaneously, this course seemed to synthesize it all, impressing upon us the weighty responsibility of becoming a future health provider. This piece, entitled “The Practice of My Art,” is a collage of illustrations I drew throughout the year reflecting on different courses, organ systems, or learning experiences from my first year of medical school.
This painting, utilizing oil and acrylic paints, was made in the midst of studying for my ongoing classes and boards. There have been a couple diseases that have stuck with me throughout my studies. One of them is type 1 achalasia from the GI block I did recently.
When I originally came to the United States for medical school, I was very nervous. I knew no one in Minnesota and was separated from my family by a greater than six hour flight to another country.
As she closed the door behind her, the palliative care geriatrician whom I (Meghan) was shadowing turned and said, “Remember, there are no difficult patients – just difficult situations.” We walked to our next patient, Mrs. C, who was suffering from congestive heart failure. All cures had been exhausted and she was tired of being at the hospital but was scared to enter hospice care. The doctor clasped hands with Mrs. C and explained that starting hospice did not mean giving up – it meant living life on her own terms in the time that was left. After these discussions, Mrs. C appeared more at ease and decided to pursue hospice care at her home.
Dr. John Abramson served as a family physician for 22 years, and was voted “best doctor” numerous times. He is a Harvard Medical School faculty member, where he currently teaches health care policy. He transitioned to litigation as a consultant for the FBI and Department of Justice and served in many trials against big pharmaceutical companies.