Beyond the drapes

Once the anesthesiologist’s drapes come up, it’s always a little hard to remember there’s a live human being on the surgical table. We take our green sterile cloths and we drape, and drape, and drape, until there’s only a dismembered part of the original apparent to us. Reality becomes focused in on the triangle of … Continue reading

Stranger than fiction

Today I attended the hearing of a rapist… who raped–of all people–a nun… and the rape took place in–of all places–a church… you really can’t make any of this up. So this is what life has been like on forensic psychiatry. Literally all kinds of crazy. It’s fascinating, horrifying, blood-curdling, all at the same time, … Continue reading

January, again

I started off the year feeling almost pretty great. I was done the hardest rotation and I knew everything would be looking up: school, relationships, friends, spirituality, and the length of daylight hours. Everything on the horizon was looking not too shabby. But over the course of the month I feel like I’ve been beaten … Continue reading

I should have written this weeks ago

It’s been Christmas break for over a week, and I’ve been bathing in post-OSCE glory for over 2 weeks now. I started the break off thinking to myself… Okay, M, you need to keep refreshing these topics. Come on, you finished internal medicine and this is the smartest you’ll be for at least the next … Continue reading

The Alex special

There are not many times where I can say I have enjoyed interviewing patients who, let’s just say, require a little more work. I think most people, students and most definitely busy staff doctors, prefer quick answers and textbook patients who fit their working diagnosis easily. Yesterday I noticed myself displaying a surprising amount of … Continue reading

I ain’t even mad

I consulted neurology for a patient this past week. I have to admit I’m still pretty nervous talking to a specialist, acting like I know what I’m talking about. Switchboard told me I’d have to go through their answering service, where you leave a message with basic info about the patient, how you can be … Continue reading

Med student plague

I need more discipline. I don’t have the structure in my daily life that I think a medical student needs. And before anyone starts to think that I’m being hard on myself, about how all med students think they’re inadequate but they’re just being anal–trust me, you don’t understand. I am doing very, very little in … Continue reading


Yesterday’s call shift was an example of getting my hopes a little too high for a patient, and being quite disappointed, and things going from bad to worse, and then watching them overnight and just praying they don’t crash. It’s hard to believe how easily I had put so much faith into this patient, who I … Continue reading

First week, still alive

The first week of internal medicine is complete. I didn’t think it went too badly, and I didn’t think I was very tired, until I laid in bed for a while with the plan to get up to workout soon, and ended up laying there past 9pm without any dinner, simply because I couldn’t get … Continue reading


There is a world of difference between the family medicine I was learning two weeks ago, and the family medicine I’m practicing now. Here, I take a full history, perform a physical exam, often including a pap, provide my assessment to the preceptor, offer a plan for investigation, offer guidelines on how far apart these … Continue reading