Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This world of medicine

I keep telling myself to write about something other than the world of school and hospitals. I mean, seriously, I like to think that I have more thoughts in my head than those that revolve around this career.

However, today, it dawned on me how small the world is and how uncomfortable that can be. You see, I saw a patient today. She happens to be someone I know quite well. And on the list of differential diagnoses for her condition were some things that are not so pleasant for anyone to deal with. Test results will be available tomorrow, but I spent a lot of time thinking about how these things work- what it means to be a patient in the same institution where you work or your family member works. What it means to have your doctors and dentists be your friends and colleagues. What it means for someone you went to school with to see you in the vulnerable position of being a patient or family member of a patient........and on and on and on.

I know that this is not new to the world, and it's actually not even new to me. But it has never really hit home this clearly. See, now I know more about this lady that I really ever wanted, and regardless of what test results show, I will know even more still.  She didn't mind that I was there. In fact, I think it comforted her a little bit to see a somewhat familiar face- enough that she let go of some of her annoyance to tease me like always. But I'm hoping and praying and hoping and praying that those test results are ok. I can't even begin to deal with what will happen if they're not ok.

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