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Never what you expect... - Nobody wears a white coat any more... — LiveJournal
...a tribute to becoming a doctor.
Never what you expect...
Walking into $ER this morning at one-to-midnight. The air was full of the bass diesel hum of a waiting ambulance, a chugchugchug that accompanies a busy night.

The waiting room was empty, and the chart rack was as well. I don't want to curse the rest of the night, but I've gotten Miri's photos reorganized (incidentally, drop me a line if you want a paper one, I have lots) and now I'm settling in to tell you about some of the things I've seen.

Psychiatry was fascinating. I saw K in the support group, who sat and explained to a roomful of recovering alcohol and drug addicts that it was her fault that her boyfriend had sent her to the emergency department. He was drunk - she told them that she'd said it was OK for him to have a beer or two. She had, apparently, walked on the wrong side of him, an indication that she was available - in an attempt to keep his drunk self from stumbling into the road. All of this led to him getting off a couple of good punches, and she reciprocated in self-defense. She's in support group. He's in jail. And it's her fault. She's quite certain of that.
It's a level of self-deception founded in self-disgust that amazed me. Where do you start?

A lot of child and adolescent psychiatry, a lot of ADHD evaluations and a lot of troubled children. Kids shouldn't have to worry about things like drugs and meals and gang violence.
I brought in Wandering Jew cuttings for the cognitive/behavioral therapy group, and they were flabbergasted that someone would bother.

Psychiatry made me sad.

I'm on Surgical Subspecialty now; the other day Dr. A the ENT surgeon let me hold the coblator and take out part of someone's tonsils. It was exhilarating. I spent a week in the opthalmologist's office and actually looked at a lot of retinas, which I could see clearly. I had the good sense to say so if I couldn't see something, and he appreciated that. My skills were improved and I got to watch the ultrasound probe break up and suction out a cataraceous lens before the slow unfolding of an IOL (intraocular lens) implant.

Opthalmologists get to play with lasers and microscopic sutures. There's a lot more to otorhinolaryngology than Ear-nose-throat, but nobody knows that. I've never seen someone remove so much wax in one day.

There's a drunk in the drunk tank at the end of the ER. He tried to tell me why he was drunk, but it didn't make any sense, and I think he only came in for a sandwich. He ordered the nurse to have it for him in less than ten minutes. A screening exam is a screening exam is a screening exam.

My mind and heart are not in my work tonight; when I left home Miri was getting her second dose of Ibuprofen for the 102 temperature she spiked this afternoon (I got out my otoscope and listened to her chest and couldn't find anything), and Monday morning the clinic is closed so that we can go to the funeral mass for the eldest son one of our favourite faculty members. Accidental overdose. I could just cry.

Patients are filtering in; I'll try to save something interesting for later. It feels good to post - I should do it more often, in the bustle of days. It feels good to reflect.

Current Location: $ER
now feeling:: sleepy sleepy

3 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word
tyomniye From: tyomniye Date: August 19th, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
if you ever want to see abnormal eyes, just pull out your bright lights when I'm there..

think psychiatry depresses everyone.. doesn't help that the people who need it are either already depressed or seriously whacked out.. I haven't reached the 2nd stage yet, though I can feel it threatening & that scares me
leon03 From: leon03 Date: August 20th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Well, it is the exception, not the norm, that those in abusive situations see the abuse for what it is. I've witnessed this phenomenon first hand.

A rather depressing statistic is that only about 25% of children in highly abusive and manipulative situations manage to get out and rise above. 75% of the children stay in the trap.

As a case in point; most people know about the Phelp's family: few realize that it is among the most profoundly dysfunctional in America. And, despite the extreme abuse during their childhood, only 4 of his 13 children ended up leaving.

And this was sort of the point of the comment I made to Miriam about already having a huge advantage over most other babies in the world. Having yuppie parents is only icing on the cake; more important is that she's going to grow up in a loving, sane, and not too-dysfunctional household. One baby growing up in an abusive environment is too many; sadly, such environments are common and pervasive.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 4th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Oh my god... It must be awful to see a woman blaming herself for someone else's wrong. It got me depressed even to read it... I can't even imagine living it, let alone try to fight it.

3 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word