Thursday, May 1, 2008

Acades Vulgaris

“The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.”~ Barbara Hall

-Acute Thespian Syndrome? (patient faking illness; MGM syndrome)
-Chrome Induced Ischaemia? (patient that develops inexplicable chest pains when arrested and handcuffed)

Frolicking amongst coffin dodgers and the chance to perform a full body physical on a double whopper with cheese? (Obese female with gential thrush)

But why? You may ask.

"Throw away all ambition beyond that of doing the day’s work well. The travelers on the road to success live in the present, heedless of taking thought for the morrow. Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day’s work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your wildest ambition.”~ William Osler

Yes ladies and gents, it's that time of year again. The time when Kailani begins contemplating on the existence of both chocolate hostages (poo's that just won't come out) and her future as a possible physician.

“Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”~ Arthur Rubinstein

So, here I am in dire need of your opinion and here's a little recital of my indecisiveness to influence your vote:

Since my days as baby goat I can remember wanting to be a doctor. I've changed my major quite a few times post-playground/pre-present and everytime I land back on none other than pre-med.
My fears before have been...of the math classes and the chemistry classes. Well, this past semester I took a math class and passed with flying colors (unlike I've ever been able to do before), I've actually been doing better in my math and science classes than the classes involving writing (which I had always thought was my strength, therefore prompting me to leave my dreams of medicine behind and pursue "other" majors (ha ha those of you that know me are laughing now...english, education, electronic media comm., journalism, business...). Now here I am again at the end of another semester feeling that I'm not going to be successful without an unbridled enthusiasm for something that I really love...I love the idea of going to medical school. I always have...and now with those fears of maths and science silenced (as much as they can be) I feel that maybe I have what it takes to do it.
But I found a quote pertaining to this...very interesting:
"Medical students are further softened up by being maliciously fatigued. The way to weaken a person’s will in order to mold him to suit your purposes is to make him work hard, especially at night, and never give him a chance to recover. You teach the rat to race. The result is a person too weak to resist the most debilitating instrument medical school uses on its students: fear.If I had to characterize doctors, I would say their major psychological attribute is fear. They have a drive to achieve security-plus that’s never satisfied because of all the fear that’s drummed into them in medical school: fear of failure, fear of missing a diagnosis, fear of malpractice, fear of remarks by their peers, fear that they’ll have to find honest work. There was a movie some time ago that opened with a marathon dance contest. After a certain length of time all the contestants were eliminated except one. Everybody had to fail except the winner. That’s what medical school has become. Since everybody can’t win, everybody suffers from a loss of self-esteem. Everybody comes out of medical school feeling bad. Doctors are given one reward for swallowing the fear pill so willingly and for sacrificing the healing instincts and human emotions that might help their practice: arrogance. To hide their fear, they’re taught to adopt the authoritarian attitude and demeanor of their professors."
-Dr. Robert Mendelsohn

So, as most of you know, what does Kailani do when she's at yet another crossroad?
....she makes a list.
Reasons To Do It:
1. I am demanding, selfish, narcissistic, enjoy stress and am high strung.
2. Lifelong dream
3. The drive
4. No longer possessing the fear of math and science
5. The fact that I am a massive less than an A for me loves (with the exception of speech class).
6. Support (I believe my friends will support me in whatever I do).
7. I have the super-human ability to survive solely on eggo waffles, ramen (ray-men, get it right) noodles, microwaveable burritos, and string cheese.
8. I enjoy being alone. That'll come in handy when I there's those 48 hour studying sessions.
9. I can survive on 2-3 hours of sleep a night.
“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.”
~ Robert Frost
Reasons Not To Do It:
1. Money (but I think this may be a draw back for most pre-med students).
2. Time (am I too old? By the time I finish pre-med I'll be 25...I'll be 30 by med schools end! Then comes residency...).
3. The fear that my mind may change again. I really need a lot of push from friends and family if I want to do this.

So what I figure is:
If I go for this it will require me to:
1. Find other outlets for my MANY other interests so I can prevent myself from veering away from it. I guess I could use this blog and photoshop to satisfy my creative spirit because god knows there is no art found in the study of cardiac-pressure volume loops and the renin-angiotensi-aldosterone system. :)
2. I can continue working my present schedule at work, after all, it worked this past semester whilst taking a large amount of hours. Luckily, I work better under stress.
3. Summer classes, at the beginning of summer (May and June) I can work like mad then in July and August take a summer semester to get tougher classes out of the way.
4. Time, I guess that's all I have really, it'll be better to go at it now than to go at it next year...or 5 years from now.

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci
5. My major doesn't necessarily matter as long as I get the science classes in:
"Even as breakthroughs in science and advances in technology make the practice of medicine increasingly complex, medical educators are looking beyond biology and chemistry majors in the search for more well-rounded students who can be molded into caring and analytic doctors. The number of science majors applying to medical school has been steady for the past decade—about 65 percent of applicants major in biology or another physical science. What’s changing is who gets in."
~A quote from Newsweek.

...and apparently English majors perform better on the verbal reasoning section of the MCAT (duh!), so if I can do well in my maths and sciences and also in major classes (because they are of much interest to me) then wouldn't that be just perfection?

I now ask of all of you to please lend your opinion, words of wisdom, support or even your discouragement to my possible future as a med school applicant. (Please vote in the right column).

Thank you and goodbye.

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you’re good at.” ~W. H. Auden


C.J. Redwine said...

Sometimes the thing you fear the most, the idea that makes your pulse race and your heart quicken, is the thing that means the most to you. When we hold our dreams at arm's length and question whether we have the right to them at all, we aren't really afraid of failing. Instead, we fear the terrifying certainty that if we commit ourselves to our dreams with everything we have, we will succeed.

Jon Quixote said...

I consider it an absolute necessity to chase after your dreams. You would do yourself a great disservice if you were not to try. If you don't succeed the first time, but your dreams remain unchanged, then why didn't you succeed? What adjustments can be made? Make them, and try again.

And I do say dreams, plural. There's no reason we can't reach for many dreams at once. Make an attempt at combining them in different ways. Who knows, you might find that magical combination that makes you truly happy.

Aim high, and somewhere along the way we hopefully manage to find ourselves and our place in this universe.

JRcat said...

I stumbled on this blog by googling for "acades vulgaris". I enjoyed reading it and wish you good luck!

Just please remember one thing: The quality that you rightly point out as being the essence of a medical student - raw fear, masked by arrogance - this isn't a desirable one.

Best wishes from one who is busily trying to avoid the fear with lots of cake and companionship,


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