“Come Match Day there will be many cheers and tears of joy, there will also be private anger and disappointment. This is a stressful time in the lives of medical trainees. Should so much joy and sorrow hang on the pursuit of a specialty?”
A reflection on specialty choice, our privilege to study medicine, and fulfillment drawing on The Way of Chuang Tzu. On The Muse Magazine’s blog: LINK
Last week I headed back to the world of medicine. The time off passed quickly, especially with packing and moving to a new place in the spring. Was great to be home and spend time with my family. This summer we have enjoyed a few family trips and had some visitors. I may do a longer review at some point of my pat leave, but put simply I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend the time at home.
The first week back was a lot to take in. My home clinic was happy to see me, nice to catch up with the staff. I’m a bit rusty and slow seeing patients, in part because the EMR there was updated recently. On top of that I’m starting my first hospital based rotation and learning their EMR and they way they like things done. Got through the first week and even had a few kind comments from patients.
During an interview for residency I was asked about my previous article about the hidden curriculum. I spoke of the lessons outside the textbooks and lectures; lessons of hierarchy, role modeling, and more. The interviewer then asked about if there were positive aspects of the hidden curriculum. I told a story from clerkship and recently made a comic about that experience. It was recently published on in-House and is my first attempt at graphic medicine. Enjoy: Lessons
A little over a month left of my pat leave, my return to the wards is quickly approaching. Soon I’ll be back in clinic and at the hospital caring for others. This time with my family was wonderful, from seeing our son’s first steps to being present to celebrate two of our children’s birthdays next month.
Part of this vacation was also time for myself. Medical school with a growing family was a challenge, and meant I had to put aside some things I enjoy. As mentioned in previous posts I enjoy reading (1, 2, 3). Over the last ~6 months I’ve enjoyed reading/listening to many books in addition to my time with family and occasional writing. I have a long list of books in my queue, some I sought out, some given by friends, and some inherited. Going over my list I’ve finished 31 books and 5 graphic novels this year. Great to have time to read for pleasure and not rush through what I’m reading.
Letters from a Stoic – Seneca
The Pleasures of the Damned & Run with the Hunted- Charles Bukowski
Imagine you are a first-year medical student and just moved across the country to start your training. It is a stressful time, adjusting to a new city, a school and new people. How do you find your way around campus? Do you need a car? Who should you contact if you need help?
As part of their mental health month in-Training included an article about the design and lessons drawn from Western Vitals (mentioned here), a medical student wellness initiative I co-founded. The project includes a website, awareness activities, and targeted workshops to support medical students at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. Check it out: Check Your Vitals
Western recently put out a collection of poetry, writing, photography, and visual art from its medical students. Great to see the work of peers and those in the years above and below me. The collection includes two of my works. Learning From Experience was previously posted elsewhere, a piece of visual art about the sacrifices of patients for our learning. The other piece, Solo, is about my first time skydiving.
“After breakfast, we all get dressed, I pack my daughter’s lunch, and the three of us suit up for the trek to the bus stop. March 2 marks one year since CaRMS Match Day, and rather than being on call or spending time in clinic, I’m on paternity leave.”
A reflection on the year since Match Day, priorities, and the decision to take pat leave. LINK
Part of the in-House s/p The Match series of reflections looking back on the year since Match Day.