A Black Female Medical Student

Another week down.

Posted on: October 21, 2011

So I got another week down, and this was definitely a long one. I’m going into midterms now. I don’t have any exams, just PAPERS. Its so different from what I was used to in medical school.

I did some shadowing in the ED this week, which was fun. They have a different approach to medicine than the other rotations I’ve been on. The choice between Emergency Medicine and OB/GYN will not be as clear cut as I thought. Being here in this program I’ve really come to understand and appreciate the importance of primary care medicine (seriously, its the primary care doctors that are going to fix the healthcare situation in this country, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!) but…. I can’t see myself getting through a primary care residency. I was almost always bored in clinic… I love the idea of preventative medicine and conceptualizing the best way to implement it… but I don’t want to be the one that implements it, if that makes any sense. I just don’t find the doctor-patient relationship to be as rewarding as other people might. I did love my patients though.

I loved my patients on OB/GYN… I loved helping black women bringing a healthy kid into the world… and I loved the surgery aspect of it. But I don’t like family planning, which is where most of the public health/policy work is fixated. I would feel morally compromised about performing abortions…. but if I was an OB/GYN I wouldn’t want to be a doctor who COULDN’T or WOULDN’T perform abortions. I don’t think it would be fair to my patients.

I also loved my kids on Peds. I just love children period. I love seeing them healthy and happy. I loved my urgent care visits on Peds. You see sick kids and make them feel better. That’s one of the reasons I’m drawn to ER… I can do Peds ER without having to do a Peds residency with however many months of call/inpatient.

I dunno… there is no perfect field. I do think its going to be EM for me though, b/c I think I have a natural aptitude for it. I’m really fast on the wards… faster than most students. My medical knowledge is very good. I have a knack for procedural stuff. I would make a good surgeon, but I don’t love surgery enough for it to hold my attention through an entire residency. I could see myself getting sick of it haha. Its not immediately straightfoward to me how I will be able to make this perfect blend of a career, encompassing emergency medicine, public health/policy, and the promotion of diversity in academia and in healthcare (another passion of mine… I’m gonna have to write a post on it soon), BUT I think if anyone can do it, it will be me.  People are blending public health and surgery, so the same can definitely be done for EM.

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