Friday, August 10, 2007


I find it interesting to see how much more positively people respond when you are enthusiastic and positive about something. I guess people like being around positive people much more than negative people who whinge a lot of the time.

As I have mentioned before, I really enjoy studying medicine even though the process of medical school and the associated assessment can be somewhat vexing from time to time. When casual aquaintences meet me and ask how it is going, I like to respond by waxing on about how much I am enjoying the study and finding it interesting (which I honestly am). I don't like to go on and on about how some parts of the course annoy the hell out of me, because: a) this would bore them to death; b) focusing on negatives drains me and the people I am talking to; and c) what good would it do? I always feel a lot better about what I am doing when I think about the positives - and there are many!

I love the information I get to study - it really is so very interesting and incredible! I love the people that I get to study with and learn from. Most of them are so helpful and intelligent, and I am looking forward to being colleagues with such a great bunch of people. I really enjoy working with the patients who I get to meet, both through study and in everyday work. I love talking to them and finding out as much as possible about them, their lives and what is going on. I love the depth and variety of pathology that we get to encounter. I love my textbooks! ;)

People are really fascinating, and I think that a lot of how they feel about somebody comes from how that person makes them feel when they are around. Have you ever noticed that genuinely popular people (as opposed to "popular" people) always seem to be positive, caring and kind? When they are around, they make you feel enthusiastic, valued and good about yourself. Have you also noticed that when a genuinely nice person can only seem to whinge about everything in life, people seem to tire of them being around and their sympathy and empathy soon wears thin?

When I was younger, adults who saw the glass as half empty and predicted that everything would go badly would always make me feel terrible about things. It took a lot of years to learn that they didn't necessarily know how things were going to turn out any more than I did, and that some people seem to get perverse pleasure from whinging and stressing about the worst possible outcome. I think that medicine seems to attract a fair few of these vocal people, and it does the rest of us good to take what they say with a grain of salt, or at least look at what they say and try to work out how they are seeing it from their point of view - some people have had a rough time in life and seem to think that it is also going to apply to everybody else as well.

Don't get me wrong, I know that I am not a "popular" person. (I don't think I have the energy that this would require!) However, I try to be genuinely positive and enthusiastic in life, about my life and about the people around me. At the end of the day, we all feel a little bit better for it. I think that I have a choice - I can either be happy where I am and doing what I am doing, or I can focus on the negatives and feel bad. (I'm not talking about depression here - that is an entirely different kettle of fish, and anybody who thinks that they can choose not to be sad is being both cruel and clueless.) And yes, I have worked for years in the public hospital system. That won't get me down, either.

I do like listening to patients, by the way, in case any of you were wondering. I also like hearing the genuine troubles of those I am close to and care about. I am also happy to listen to people whinge when something bad has happened to them, or if they are having a bad day. It is when people don't do anything but complain that it gets tiring.

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