Sunday, September 19, 2010
It's easy to forget just how far we've come. A little over two years ago I was starting medical school and now I am being trusted enough with private medical information that leads to the decision making process in patient care. I often feel that my knowledge base is not strong enough or lacks in certain departments, and the truth is that it really does. But when interacting with the general public I realize the wealth of information that I have accumulated in such a short span of time.
It can be expected that friends, family and others will inquire about their health at any given opportunity. Just recently, during a community blood pressure screening, I fielded many medical questions. The information that I take for granted in my education is easily foreign to those not in the medical profession. From medications to physiologic processes, there is so much to know. I remember just a few years ago thinking how fascinating it was that someone could see your symptoms and differentiate between virus and bacterial origin. At the time, it was a mystery to me. Now it seems that the "secrets" are being revealed and it's my turn to share that information. This task, although daunting, is what being a doctor is all about. According to the translation of the Latin word doctōris, a doctor is a teacher. Curious to say the least.
Question of the Week
After weeks of observation, seeing patients on my own and asking my own questions my attending physician decided to "pimp" me out of the blue. Unprepared and with my head wrapped around the circumcision just performed, I failed to provide the correct answer. Introduced with discussion about the effects of injecting Lidocaine into a neonates vein, he instructed me about the risk of inducing methemoglobinemia. In his calm demeanor the question came as a surprise, "What is the treatment for methemoglobinemia?" The answer was in my head somewhere, just not where I thought I left it.