All right, I neglected this thing long enough and I’m really regretting it because a lot of cool things happened in the past month and I won’t be able to recount them all.

– I shadowed a psychiatrist for the first time. He’s part of an outpatient clinic and also sees referrals from GPs. It was definitely a good experience, and it’s a lot of what I expected psychiatry to be, and is kind of reinforcing the point that psych is all… talking. Literally nothing but talking. So I do understand some of the stigma that it gets from others in the profession as it seems to be narrowed down to a few mental disorders, a few drugs to treat them, and just lots and lots of management of patients. You can work up a huge patient load and just see those same people on a weekly/monthly/whatever basis. I do see why people find it hard to categorise into “medicine.” At the same time, it was fascinating and good to observe something different. So… I guess we’ll see.

– I keep noticing my obsession with babies and have a feeling I’ll end up in pediatrics. Every single time we’re out in clinic, I just go googly-eyed when there’s a patient whose brought in her little one. I had initially thought I could incorporate the peds aspect into psychiatry, but now that I think about it, I don’t think I really want to deal with children who have mental health disorders. I think I just want to deal with children, especially in helping them get better. So… I guess we’ll see.

– I’ve really been liking the content of our endocrinology block. I strongly dislike its delivery. I understand the wisdom behind getting us to become independent learners, but to do so to this extent, in our first semester of medical school, seems quite unfair. I simply shouldn’t be tested on material that wasn’t covered in class. Supplement our knowledge, yes. Weed out the good from the great, yes. But to ask questions directly on material that had been linked below our actual lecture content, one of the dozen or so “supplementary” material links, feels unfair. We’ve become accustomed to a certain learning style for the past 18 years of our education in the Western world, and change won’t come so abruptly.

– I’ve just gotten back from an Islamic conference and while it did a lot for my heart and soul, a few speakers also appealed to my activism side. It’s absolutely undeniable that in order for the Muslim community to do better, we need to be better at giving back, at integrating ourselves into the broader civic community, and getting others to realise the value of our contributions. Of course, we have to start by having contributions in the first place. I definitely see and accept my role in all this. I will, one day, be a stakeholder in my community. I need to accept the massive responsibility of this and use it to my (and my religion’s) advantage.

– It seems to get harder and harder for me to keep my spiritual life separate from my academic life. Now I see it as a problem that I even divide the two in the first place. Definitely something I’m going to work on. I need to stop feeling like pieces of things put together, and instead start feeling whole.

Sorry this post has been so choppy. Maybe it’s a perfect reflection of how I’m feeling, like I’ve said.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, all.


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