With Joesph Kim’s prodding, I’ve returned to the world of tumblr (hopefully more consistently than I’ve done in the past year…)
It’s amazing how much one can change in just a few months. As the task of documenting my changes became more daunting, it became even harder to return to my tumblr to do so. It’s funny how I can procrastinate with anything, even with things that are so personal. As we speak, I’m procrastinating from studying for my Psych final tomorrow :)
This summer, I started working for a dermatologist and it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in college. My dermatologist is a NCSSM and UNC Med grad, and she’s this amazing woman who is one of the most inspirational women I’ve personally met. When she sees a patient, it is so evident that the patient is her only focus. Once she leaves the room, she walks as quickly as possible (quick as a bunny, as she’d say) to the next patient. She remembers patient’s family histories, like how a patient’s daughter got married around six months ago or how they went to Europe over the summer. She also makes her own curtains and is an amazing chef. As I learn in my courses that physicians rarely give patients the time they deserve and patients often feel marginalized as a result, I’ve begun to feel that this is just a vicious cycle. The hospital system is so ingrained in tradition that spending more time with a patient is quickly becoming unfeasible. My dermatologist has inspired me to believe that changes within the healthcare system can happen.
In the summer, I was also working in my lab, and I realized that there’s almost no way I could do it for my gap year. I’ve also learned how poor the economy is. Finding a job is so. hard. I thought I might enjoy doing healthcare consulting, and I interviewed in Wisconsin with a healthcare technology company and I hated it. I felt everyone who worked there was jaded. I loved what the company stands for, but I didn’t get the feeling that employees actually believed in the same core values. I also missed my connecting flight to RDU and had to spend the night in Michigan. By night, I mean four hours of sleep and back to the airport. My interview and travel experiences combined led me to realize that I would hate the lifestyle consultants live.
Being an RA this year is much harder than it was last year. Don’t get me wrong, most of my residents are really nice and friendly, but there are also a few who make my job as an RA much more difficult and a thousand times more stressful.
This semester, I took a Medical Anthropology class. I loved it. I loved how it made me think in different ways and through different lenses. You know how professors say that a course will make you see things differently, but really at the end of the course, you aren’t dramatically changed? This class was different. It only took me 5.5 hours to write a 10 page final paper for the class, and it still got an A. It was one of the few classes when I was excited to read the readings and go to lectures, even if it was my only class on Fridays and on East campus. This class makes me want to get an MD but also have more background in medical anthropology so that I could actually apply it to how I treat future patients.
For many reasons, this semester was one of the busiest semesters I’ve had at Duke. I worked in my lab, in clinic, as an RA and took five classes, one of them being an eight hour lab. I think I’ve finally mastered the art of managing my time, possibly six semesters late, but at least I learned it, right?
Where am I now?
I’m ready to be done with this semester… as soon as I take my exam tomorrow. I’m still looking for something to do for a year (please not bench research!). I’m ready for a few weeks in Michigan before I finish college. I’m really excited for next semester’s courses (four day weekends <3). I’m worried about applying to med schools in a few months. Deathly afraid of the future.