Letter to a Young Doctor

Medicine is a jealous lover... Letter to a Young Doctor Series

Medicine is a jealous lover... Letter to a Young Doctor Series

‘Is there some secret you have learned that you wish you knew earlier?’

‘Medicine is a jealous lover…’

Hello,

Working hard is a tradition in medicine.  The braggadocio around hours of call without sleep, number of patients seen in the ER shift, numbers on the hospital service all speak volumes to the cult of work that is medicine.  By the time you enter medical school, you are already indoctrinated into the cult.  You worked hard in high school to get the right university.  Worked hard in university to get into the right medical school.  Worked hard in medical school to get the right residency. Worked hard in residency to land the perfect job.  There is a theme…. Work.


Letters to a young doctor… Learning to say No

Letters to a young doctor… Learning to say No

‘What has been the hardest lesson you have had to learn?’

‘Saying No instead of Yes….’

Hello….

It has been surprising to me that the hardest lesson I learned from Medicine is how to say “No’.  I suspected the lessons in school would be the hardest, maybe the ways to have delicate conversations, or to sit with the dying.  However, nothing comes close to learning to say “No’. 

Letters to a Young Doctor.... first in a series

Letters to a Young Doctor.... first in a series

Letters to a young Doctor… the first in a series

 “What do you wish you knew when you first started practice?”

“Everything”

 Hello,

There are so many things that I wish I had known when I started in medicine, things that unfortunately are unknowable until you have spent some time in practice.There are some things that you cannot know until you have walked this path for a while.It is like a pair of shoes you plan to take hiking, you try them on, walk around the store, climb the fake rock to see how they fit going up and down, and make your best guess.The felt good while you walked all over the REI, looking at everything, but when you hit the trail you find they are not quite right.The break is a little too far forward on the foot and so after 20 KM the midfoot is sore, as are your toes.There are so many things like that in the world, they require first-hand experience to understand…..