Archive for September 2009

ALF and PE guinea pigs

September 22, 2009

Yesterday, on my first visit to the assisted living facility (ALF), I managed to incur the wrath of the doctor in charge before we were even assigned patients! After we met Dr. L, one of the on-site physicians, he led us down the halls of the facility, peeking in to patients’ rooms and asking if they’d mind having a bunch of medical students mess with them. When he emerged from one, he shouted, “Anyone speak Spanish?” Even though I was, at one point, quite good at Spanish and had visualized myself conducting an interview so fluid and fluent Telemundo could’ve televised it as I lay in bed the night before, my anxiety got the better of me and I blurted, “…not well enough.”

“Don’t be a smart@ss!” Dr. L yelled, and tears sprang to my eyes. He came out of the room and fixed me with a frightening glare, his voice dripping with disdain as he told our faculty doctor, “I asked if they could speak Spanish and this one,” he pointed, “says, ‘Oh, not well enough!'” He inflected it with a girly additudinal lilt*, shaking his head. “Sounds like she should be a lawyer.”

I was mortified! “No, I didn’t mean…I’m sorry, I wasn’t talking about everyone, I didn’t mean them, I meant me, I don’t speak Spanish well enough to feel comfortable and do a good job, and I…” As I stammered out apologies, he chuckled.

“Well, here’s a patient for you.” Dr. L directed me and my partner to another bed in the room. “These two young ladies are medical students and they’d like to talk to you. Is that all right?” The patient agreed and Dr. L left us to introduce ourselves. When I made my introduction, the patient gave me a knowing smirk and said, “Oh, so you’re the lawyer.”

Blushing**, I shook my head. “Not really.” (more…)

Whale $#%! – AICM in Miami

September 15, 2009

Welcome to a new chapter of the chronicle! When I began 医者の卵, I was getting ready not only to embark on a career in medicine, but also on an adventure in another country. For 16 months, I studied the basic medical sciences at the Ross University campus in the Commonwealth of Dominica (again, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic). It was certainly an experience – at times, exciting, at times, frustrating, at times, lonely, and yet, at other times, wonderful. I learned a lot during my time on Dominica and made a lot of friends. Luckily, most of us survived the basic sciences (even if it was by the skin of our teeth!) and, despite enduring some crazy trials and tribulations, we managed to get to 5th semester. The most satisfying part of making it through was knowing that we’d accomplished something. Even though we were technically only halfway through our medical education, we’d survived the worst Dominica had to throw at us and emerged stronger, wiser and better than we were when we arrived. However, at the end of the basic sciences, we knew we were destined to part ways. There are three sites at which Advanced Introduction to Clinical Medicine (AICM)–the transition module designed to bridge the basic and clinical medical sciences–is offered: one site is the Princess Margaret Hospital, the Ross teaching hospital in the capital city of Dominica. One is Synergy Health in Sagniaw, Michigan. The other is where I am now, sunny Miami, in the sizzling south of the sunshine state. (more…)