Medical school is sucking the life out of me.
I know I’ve loved medicine before. I know I could never love anything else like I love medicine. But it feels like a tarnished, battered marriage – one I used to truly feel butterflies for, but now I’ve been spit on and bruised one-too-many times to feel that way again without some serious digging in the rubble.
My first rotation in 3rd year started off as a fantastic explosion of pure bliss – rounding with attendings who sat on the edge of the bed, held patients’ faces as they cried, who spun me around the pathways of cancers and diseases. I felt like a dry sponge that couldn’t soak up all of the new and exciting information fast enough! Things have changed now. A bald man with squinty eyes extinguished the electricity and left a floor without white coats or discussions about plasma cells and hospice. The white coats get draped over chairs, we sit in a room to “round” on patients, and I find myself feeling drained after a mere 8 hours of work – when before I would be too giddy to sleep after an 18 hour shift. Typing notes into patient charts, calling orders, juggling readmissions – is this my medicine? It can’t be. My medicine knows my favorite note and sings it right into my heart space. My medicine opens my eyes to how beautiful this world is and thrives on breath sounds and a gentle touch and the skipped beat of a rushing around the corner.
This is not my medicine.