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.


Bethany Mueller said...

That is awesome, Chen! Glad to hear that your hard work in medical school is paying off with personal satisfaction. I think at the end of the day, we are all humans that want to be treated with care and respect. In no field is that more important than the field of medicine.


Next time I see you, I may ask you to locate MY cervix.

CYW said...

I guess it might be time I purchase my own speculum for housecalls!