How We Got Here.

It’s not about protecting life. It never has been.

It’s not about protecting the Constitution (which in itself is an idiotic reason).

It is and always has been about control and about power.

It’s about a system of government that disproportionately caters to populations who already hold most of the power and who have used that power to keep it that way.

It’s about politicians who desperately need to maintain their seats in Congress in order to stroke their fragile egos, so they pander to those populations despite what they personally believe and despite what the majority of their constituents may believe.

It’s ok for people to have fundamental differences in what they believe, and it’s ok to fight for what you believe to be right in your own life, but that should not come at the expense of other people’s ability to make decisions for their own lives. For what it’s worth I’m confident many of the politicians who are gleeful about the Supreme Court’s decision don’t give a shit about m0rality, they are interested in what’s going to keep them funded and in office next year.

Learning Objectives

It’s really curious to me that most lectures start out with providing the learning objectives. I think it kinda represents the backwards way in which we approach education.

If I am trying to teach something, the objective should be self-evident. It’s ok to have learning objectives, but to say them explicitly upfront is cheating.

By the end of a “lesson” we should be able to ask participants what they learned or what they think they were supposed to learn and those things should track with the learning objectives.

And if people aren’t walking away able to identify the undisclosed learning objectives intended by the educator, then it should be on the educator, not the students (or at the very least equally on both), to rethink how they deliver the material. That said educators who take their craft seriously should also want to make changes that benefit their students and not be afraid to critically evaluate their teaching for their students’ sake.

I don’t want this to come off as an indictment or a generalization on educators because they do some of the hardest and most important work, and in general teachers are overworked and underpaid. I will say that all my favorite teachers have been one who have challenged traditional styles and went out their way to create meaningful experiences for us as students to better understand the material. And as someone who plans to take on an educator role in the future, this is something I aspire towards.

Pediatrics – Day 24

Today was my last day of the rotation. It was a little bittersweet. Honestly I wouldn’t mind coming in for a little while longer. Maybe that a cringey thing to say, but it’s true, at least at this moment in time. Though part of it is probably the fact that I’m under no obligation to stay there the whole day, I don’t have any actual responsibility there, and the residents are all so cool and fun to work with. Maybe also because I really don’t want to take my Shelf exam. Another part is when I learn in the hospital or in the clinic it feels like my learning is actually connected to something that matters, not just a red X or a green checkmark.

Anyways it’s over whether I like it or not and I’ll just have to appreciate it for what it was. Overall it was a very positive experience and I’m definitely now leaning more towards working in peds in some capacity.

We had a new attending today, and he brought with him a first year medical student (who I’m pretty sure lives on my floor) and an undergraduate student. They came on rounds with us and so we did a little extra teaching with each patient. When we got to my patients I felt a little more nervous than usual and I wonder if the youngers could tell I had no idea what I was talking about (ok I had some idea). That said, and I think I mentioned this before, I do enjoy teaching and I could see it as a part of my future, but first I need to gain more mastery of all the material. Seeing them though, and thinking about how I was once in both their shoes was motivating.

I think it’s really time for me to really dial in on a Plus Ultra attitude.

Pediatrics – Day 23

Since it’s been a few days since I’ve had to be in the hospital, a lot of new patients, but I had to just jump right back in. I got assigned my usual URI picture kind of patients. They seemed somewhat straightforward at first, but were a little more complicated when we started digging a little deeper. One of them had these mysterious hives and constellation of symptoms that weren’t super consistent with anything in particular, but were suggestive of a few different things, so it was hard to say whether what they were experiencing was just a reaction to viral illness or something a little more serious underlying.

Later that day I saw my first in-patient constipation case and I realized how little I know about management of serious constipation. The kid was really plugged up. This was the first time I really felt an abdomen that distended. Also, part of the discharge plan is to make the family watch a video called “The Poop In You.”

Pediatrics – Day 22

My last day of my last full week on in-patient. It’s gone by pretty fast. I’m partially relieved, but also a little sad because I really like my team and I honestly do like spending time in the hospital (when there are things to do). Today pretty much all the patients I was assigned were planned to be discharge later that afternoon including my osteomyelitis kid who was there for a while. It’s going to be whole new patient list when next time I come in. New folks to meet, hopefully some new pathology. We had a couple medical mysteries come in the past couple days and it’s been really interesting seeing the residents and attendings trying to piece together diagnoses for them, it’s very House-esque.

Pediatrics – Day 21

It’s really crazy to think how much experience my senior residents and especially my attending have. Sometimes when we are standing around in the hallway and they are having conversations about what antibiotics to use for what bacteria and the mechanisms of why they should use this one and not that one, but what about this one, is just kinda wild when I take a step back. It’s all pretty standard stuff that you learn in med school (not that I am anywhere close to mastering it), but when I see them actually applying it to feed real people real pills or shoot a medication into someone’s vein, I am just in awe.

At the same time, I see how overworked they all are, and despite seeing deep down how lovely the medical team I’m work with is, I can also see the cracks in the armor. It’s sad because most of the time I see how much they love their work, but the burnout is pretty apparent sometimes. I like to think I’m a pretty resilient person, but I’m sure there have been people stronger than me who have been worked to the ends of their wits. I guess the only thing I can do is be cognizant of it and, when possible, incorporate wellness practices into my daily routines.

Pediatrics – Day 20

Today was a long day, and I did my first solo in-patient admission H&P. My seniors historically have been really nice and done them themselves or done them with me (I think also because they want to make sure it gets done properly the first time). H&P are the one thing though that I feel pretty confident in, is the assessment and plan parts that I need to develop more. Luckily this was another bronchiolitis vs reactive airway disease (baby asthma) patient which I’m pretty comfortable with doing assessments and plans at this point, so it felt nice to kind of be able to run the whole thing for this patient (as much as I am legally allowed to).

Definitely feeling more confident and also like an actual part useful of the team these days. Hope that only increases as I start my last week there.

Pediatrics – Day 19

It was a longer day today, but there was some good learning that happened. Something tells me the attending hasn’t been impressed with me thus far. Maybe not disappointed, but not impressed, and she communicated that with the residents. I only say that because today one of the residents worked especially close with me on my presentations for rounds today. It was undeniably super helpful, and I think I did an ok job. Sometimes when I get praise, I can’t tell if it’s genuine for if people are just trying to be nice. Regardless, like I said yesterday, being in the hospital motivates me to study more, but also it just takes so much out of me that it’s hard to come afterwards and study. I think I need to avoid coming home right after work and just try to get work done outside of the house.

Pediatrics – Day 18

Back to the weekdays and rounds did normalize a little bit, but the vibe was still different. Today I got pimped by the attending on what a “left shift” was, which I surprisingly answered correctly, as well as the follow up question of what the differential looks like in a true left shift (it shouldn’t have been a hard question, I just get super nervous and freeze whenever they look directly into the bowels of my soul as ask if I know the answer). So that felt good. There was definitely a lot of learning today, as there was yesterday which I appreciated. More and more I’m getting comfortable apply things I learned in the first two years to actual real-world problems which is satisfying. Getting put on the spot to present my assessment and plan for my patients is nerve-racking right now, but it’s also super helpful, and if it’s even halfway decent the team does a good job at supporting the things I said that were “correct” and then addending to it in a way that doesn’t make me feel too dumb. Definitely it’s motivating me to learn more.

Pediatrics – Day 17

Today was my first weekend at the hospital and my first day with the new (t0 me) attending. It was a very different vibe. Not sure if it was mostly because it was a weekend shift or because of the attending herself, but definitely feels like it was a mix. She was a little younger and had a more comraderous(?) relationship with the residents. There was talk about personal lives, food, debaucherous activity, but at the same time she was very much into teaching and honestly pimped me more than the other attending leading to me embarrassing myself on several occasions.

She bought us lunch which was super kind of her. It was like these Texan breakfast tacos. Very good. I never know what to do in situations like that though. Like clearly, she plans on paying for the meal, but I don’t want to be presumptive. But is it insulting to asking if I can pay someone back or suggest that she may want compensation? I don’t want to take her generosity for granted (it was never mentioned upfront), but also, I don’t want to be this lowly medical student putting myself on an “equal playing field” with my attending by offering to pay. I’m definitely probably overthinking it, but you all know that’s just the way I am.

We’ll see how things go tomorrow during the weekday, though it sounds like she want to kinda keep it similar to how we did it today throughout the week. The residents seem onboard with it.