Growing up, I wanted to be an actress. It amazed me how actors could make a story seem so real and how easily I would fall in love with characters I’d known for only 90 minutes. Most of the kids in my neighborhood would play outside together, but I always wanted to stay home and watch my favorite movie, Shutter Island.
As a future physician, this experience reminded me to remain empathetic, compassionate and unbiased in all aspects of patient care. By doing so, I can not only improve trust and connection with my patients but also ensure that my clinical judgment remains clear.
The intruder slithers in at midnight, / slinking his way to the boy fast asleep, / the tangled mess of hospital wires his field of untrimmed grass,
When I was growing up, I used to love a particular series of video games called Trauma Center. In 2010, they released a version called Trauma Team where you got to play as various medical specialists, one of whom was simply considered a “Diagnostician.” Dr. Gabriel Cunningham’s “cases” were some of the most challenging because you were presented with an array of symptoms, imaging, and lab work and started ruling in or ruling out diagnoses until you got the right answer.
In early spring, amid the earlier quarantines, I watched dandelions grow outside my window. At first, subtly and hidden among the blades of grass. Then budding, bursting yellow amid green galaxies. These tiny suns danced in April’s wind and their scent carried morning’s dew and earth-like warmth into midday, until the smells of grills and barbecues took stage.
At the start of my psychiatry rotation, I was most apprehensive about performing the “bread and butter” exam of the specialty: the psychiatric interview. I was not afraid of forgetting which questions to ask, but rather how to ask said questions.
She sat on her bed in a bright magenta shirt covered in glittery animals, with her arms folded tightly across her chest. Her green eyes were trained on the muted television broadcasting Disney cartoons, and her bed was strewn with coloring books and crayons. This scene looked quite different from the other overdoses we had been consulted on. Still, our attending calmly walked up to her bedside, introduced our bustling team and asked the universal question,
Asking someone if they want to kill themselves becomes easier every time. The appalling part is how quickly this and other taboo personal questions became a normal part of my routine.
Perhaps the single most awkward conversation that a third-year medical student can have with an attending physician is the one that begins with the attending asking, “So, what medical specialty are you interested in going into?”
His right leg jittered beneath his orange, prison-issued jumpsuit. The manacles across his wrists rattled with the chain connecting them to the cuffs around his ankles.
Ryan Pate, who recently matched into psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, shares about medical school expectations, the interview trail and more.
Rachel Voss, second from the left, is sharing today about her hobbies, passions and what surprised her the most about medical school.