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Jan
27

Brain Overload

If you’ve read my blog lately, you’ve seen that my work life has been a … challenge of late.

(I wanted to say clusterf*ck, but I was attempting diplomacy. That lasted for about a sentence 😉 )

Fortunately for me (and probably for you), school is another story. Despite ongoing insecurity about where exactly I fit into this profession, I’m actually enjoying my semester so far. I’m learning so much already, I’m taking my first oncology-specific class, which is so gratifying, and I’m in my first clinical course! It’s terrifying but in an awesome way. Some days I feel like my brain is going to explode from all of the knowledge I am trying to cram in there.

My cohort-mates and I have been placed in a variety of primary care and urgent care settings. Given the two-to-three hour drives some of my peers have to make, I’m feeling very blessed that my commute is exactly 25 minutes. And my placement happens to be less than a mile from my husband’s office, which means we get a lunch date every week. Bonus!!!!

My preceptor owns and operates his own practice and he is an excellent doctor. I don’t know if it’s his personality or if it’s because he works for himself and can somewhat make his own rules about how many people he sees every day, but he really does take time with his patients. And they appreciate it. He is kind and gentle and thoughtful. Which also makes him an excellent teacher. Every decision he makes, he explains his rationale to me. When I pepper him with questions, he answers them patiently and/or helps me look up the current evidence. And when I almost passed out assisting with an I&D (incision & drainage of a cyst – I swear I’m not squeamish, I was just hungry 😉 ), he didn’t blink an eye and immediately told me a story about when he almost fainted as an emergency room doctor. He has a way of putting people at ease. It’s a gift and I’m lucky to see him in action.

My only complaint is that he doesn’t push me hard enough. Since I tend to get timid and a little gunshy in new situations, sometimes I need a little nudge. So I’m having to learn to push myself…which I’m also thankful for, because assertiveness is not my strong suit. I had to speak up after a second full day of shadowing him (because he didn’t want me taking my own patients until I told him I was “comfortable”). I told him that comfortable or not, I needed to dive in and start seeing patients on my own. Which he immediately agreed with. The most easy-going doctor I’ve ever met.

I know he’s not perfect but I still count myself fortunate that I’m being introduced to this new role by someone who loves what he does and obviously loves teaching. I don’t know if primary care is for me, but it’s gratifying to learn in a place where I will be nourished.

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