Sunday, July 19, 2009

tired of talking, talked out, ticked off or toughed up

I've been following the laws of physics lately, and thus, this blog has been getting the shaft in favor of sleeping, eating, and passing this forsaken rotation.

I haven't bothered writing about these rotations because I don't feel like boring everyone to tears with that babble, and besides which, being immersed in it as much as I am, it feels as though it is hard to write sensibly about it. I need some distance which is not really possible at the moment. I can say that it sometimes feels frustrating, sometimes feels triumphant, sometimes feels important, sometimes feels trivial, sometimes feels like medicine helps people, sometimes feels like medicine is in vain. I have worked with physicians that are admirable and some that are not so admirable. I have watched behaviors that I would like to emulate, and others I would rather avoid. I've been told that I should be a surgeon, and I've also been asked, "you're not interested in surgery, are you?"

For the record, no, I am not interested in surgery, not even vaguely. This rotation has been great, though, in that it has made me properly respect surgeons and confirm that it's work best left to others. And it's just an interesting unfolding of life or lives before your eyes. People minding their own business when they were hit by a car and are now stuck in a hospital bed for months with fractures and complications. Gunshots and stab wounds, alcohol and methamphetamine, the suicidal and the demented. There aren't that many opportunities in life to see that sort of cross-section of the world.

The only thing that's truly felt like torture is having to interact with some of my more difficult classmates, who have started to exhibit that classic medical school attribute that I like to call "I will stab you with a shiv first chance I get if I can do so while improving everyone's opinion of me." It is the innate characteristic that makes my stomach turn about students. It's not across-the-board, but all it takes is one student like that to really annoy.

But even that has been an opportunity. Such clowns will never go away in life. There is no one field populated by well-intentioned sweethearts. The key is not to let the a-holes get to you. I've been able to manage by refusing to rise to the bait, and also by recognizing that it's not worth it to me to engage in that fight.

That's the thing about being a middle-distance runner. You have to decide which race you wish to run, which mark you want to meet. I used to think, when I was younger, that you had to push yourself until you were the best, better than everyone else. But that was a long time ago, and I've seen how that kind of drive comes at a cost. I am starting to think I will be okay without losing who I am. That seems the thing most worth fighting for.

No comments: