Med: So much, yet so little…

November 21, 2007

A conversation that I had with BrownBear tonight elicited a sentiment that we both have: After 3 months of med school,

We know so much, yet so little…

Since arriving home last night for Thanksgiving Break with the family, I have been talking their ears off with all of my newly-learned medical knowledge. Obviously, the point of school is to learn things that you didn’t know before; yet, it’s still a wonderful feeling to be understanding things about the body that you never understood. For example…why do you stop breathing when you break your neck? Anyone could postulate that neurons are involved, but we now know that its because neurons from CV3/4/5 in the neck let you control your diaphragm, which ultimately allows air into your lungs. Or…why do people get shoulder and arm pain when their gallbladder is inflamed? This explanation is a bit more complicated–and I don’t care to bore you all with it–but rest assure I know. With all of the biochem, anatomy, physiology, and more that we’ve done…I feel like i’ve done a complete crashcourse in a foreign language.

But then we talked about how in 3.5 years we’re gonna be “Dr. Kurz and Dr. Brownbear,” and realize that we are NOWHERE near where we’d need to be to feel comfortable with that. I have my first clinic experience looming next week, and there are going to be patients that will expect me to be able to help them. And I’m not going to know jack-shit. Granted, i AM a student and am NOT required to provide medical services to them, but their expectations might be different.

There’s no “eureka” moment in which I’m suddenly going to realize that I have the ability to be a doctor–it’s just a process. Over time I’m going to be learning more and more until one day I’m responsible for the care of others. For their sakes–and mine–I have a whole lot to learn until then…

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