Monday, August 19, 2013

I know the kind of doctor I want to be

When I think about all that I've done in the past few months I feel giddy like I'm in love. I'm currently in Chicago on an elective rotation. Before that I was in New York City for another elective. They were in family medicine and reproductive health.

It's wonderful because I'm learning all the things I want to know. During the last couple months I think I've better than the average 4th year student at placing a speculum and finding the cervix. I probably get it 9 times out of 10! Too bad I can't write "pretty good at finding the cervix" on my CV. I'd really like to. I'm proud of it.

It's wonderful because I feel I'm going to provide a really necessary service as a doctor. I had a patient thank me even though I really didn't do anything. I told her my name and, "I'm a student doctor working with Dr. So and So." Then I basically stood behind the doctor. But I feel very touched by this, more so than a lot of my other achievements because I think she really meant it.

It's wonderful because I'm meeting people like the kind I want to be, attendings, residents, and people who share and support my passions. They understand reproductive health and reproductive justice. They get it. They're really smart and down-to-earth.

Surprisingly, I've been treated better on my electives. Being treated like a person is something I believe all people deserve, even medical students. I hope it's because I know more medicine now because I do. I hope it's because I have better articulated what I want to do as a doctor because I have. I also hope it's because I've found "my tribe" because I have.

I will be applying to family medicine residencies that include training in family planning and a strong academic component. In the long run I'm hopeful that I will do all the things I care about: be a good full-spectrum primary care doctor for my patients and a proponent of this work via research or public health or advocacy.