Friday, August 17, 2007

The more you learn . . .

We are approaching the end of first year, and somehow I still don't feel like I know very much at all. I know that my overall knowledge has increased exponentially since the start of the year. However, the more I learn, the more I realise that I will never know.

I remember that not so long ago, whenever I met a medical student I expected them to somehow have superior knowledge of all things medical, and when they demonstrated gaps in an area or two, it was a bit of a disappointment. It is funny how the words "medical student" produce an increased amount of respect in the general public but a slightly decreased amount of respect among allied health and other hospital staff. Of course, I'm joking here! However when a medical student comes in who is entirely dismissive of qualified professional staff because they are not doctors, and the student knows nearly nothing about the area he or she is in yet refuses to acknowledge the fact that people apart from doctors know what they are talking about, it is bound to rub people up the wrong way.

It is fairly safe to say that I will never be one of those students. Sadly, I can see people in our course even now who are just bound to fit right into that stereotype. They will learn. Hopefully.

Actually, I have been pleasantly surprised by how helpful a lot of the senior doctors are towards medical students. I somehow expected them to be a lot ruder, or more dismissive. I'm very curious to see how it will all turn out when we go out into the hospitals later on in the course. I might change my mind completely.


Polly said...

There are a few of those students in my course too.. Hopefully if they are ever rude to any other hospital staff or patients then they will get promptly squashed.


The Shrink said...

Some folk are humble, altruistic souls wishing to make a difference.

Some folk are eejits who want to dabble with life forces playing God and being adored.

Medicine attracts both . . .

The Girl said...

Polly, I hope that is the case (with the squishing and the crushing and the general grinding into the dirty, dirty floor . . . sorry, kind of got carried away there!). However, I think too many of them get through without anybody every saying anything to them.

Shrink, you second description sounds like you have had far too many run-ins with surgeons! ;)

The Apathetic Apothecary said...

You will make a fine physician. My piece of advice is to make friends with the pharmacy. We can help you more than many physicians know. (But don't write "pharmacy to dose" on every single drug, or we will assume that you are just totally clueless:)
Seriously though, the physicians that get along with the rest of the allied health team generally seem to be happier and lest stressed than the ones that have the condescending attitude. good luck with your career.

The Shrink said...

. . . physicians that get along with the rest of the allied health team generally seem to be happier and lest stressed . . .

Never a truer word spoken!

As a junior doctor I found the ward pharmacist a life saver, both giving good advice but also she'd shout out if what was being proposed was less than ideal . . . her knowledge of polypharmacy and interactions and side effects was ace.

More recently our pharmacist, after a ward round, would help patients. Although I'd meet with patients and we'd discuss drug and other changes, it's often after the ward round that the patient then has questions or concerns. Our pharmacist would visit all my patients after the ward round to address these and remind them of anything special (when to take the medication, side effects, hydration, whatever).

Result? Better care and less stress in every corner :-)

But although I like pharmacists, I still love my CPNs more ;-)

The Girl said...

Thanks for the comments - I agree.

I think there needs to be more of a focus on "teamwork" in our medical course - I keep telling some of the other students that they should ask for a little advice from the allied health staff they are working with if they aren't sure about something, but they seem to have the impression that allied health would get mad at them for not knowing exactly what to ask for.

I said that being asked a few times for advice is better than getting a lifetimes worth of ridiculous requests and paperwork. ;)