ZoyahThawer, Medical Student, 10:55PM Jan 13, 2014
Medical Student, McMaster University, Ontario
I'm on my second core rotation and having just started clerkship, I'm sort of still learning the ropes. Besides the charting and the dictating and learning to stay out of the way while doing all of these things, I'm also learning that each specialty carries with it preconceived notions; doctors seem to judge each other based on these choices. This is natural and we are all human, so there is nothing shocking about this finding, but it certainly does make it hard to get through rotations objectively.
In medical school, we are taught not only about pathophysiology, histories, physicals, assessing patients and making plans, we are also taught to think about our capacities to handle certain specialties and the idea of work-life balance. McMaster is big on self-care and being true to yourself and your interests and knowing the threshold of what you can and choose to handle in your work life.
Alas, not everyone is taught the same way! Preceptors, medical learners and staff come from different backgrounds (just like patients do!) and each has their own preconception about which field is the best field. If you're like me, this leads you on week-long intense infatuations with specialties or aversions to them. What I often forget in this is the following:
As a clerk, I am here to:
This is a sort of mantra I'm using to help me get through clerkship and come out sane in the end and to help me stay calm and objective when evaluating specialties. I'm also discovering that medicine is a part of my life - not my whole life so work-life balance and lifestyle do come into play. Does this mean I'm writing off programs that are a bit more intensive? No. This just means I'm listening to me while I go through this experience. Because in the end, you are making these choices for you.