Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Notes from a pre-medical student

  • Had my physiology make-up exam today. It was an oral exam. I was grilled, stayed cool despite my nervousness...uh, for about five minutes. Then I lost it. All of it. I felt like I should switch to Business Administration (no hard feelings, guys) when I couldn't dredge out of my brain that the optic nerves cross in front of the hypothalamus. Drew a complete blank. When she gave the answer, I was so ashamed. I knew that! I knew more than what she taught in class on the whole optic pathway! I tried to patch things up a bit at the end, after several more disastrous questions, by expressing my dissatisfaction with my performance and explaining that I knew x, y, and z and all sorts of supplemental info. I think it was that and my legitimate excuse for missing the exam that saw me walk away with a far better grade than I deserved. But man, talk about being on the hot seat.
  •  Had another I want to be a doctor moment of affirmation this afternoon whilst watching a programme on HBO about the awful mess folks have stirred up in the DRC...awful, unbelievable mess. It still hasn't quite registered with me, and I honestly don't expect it will unless I were to see such pathetic and completely avoidable circumstances in person. Anyhow, at one point they showed a woman who'd apparently been eating nothing but bananas for a number of weeks. She was massively underweight, with a severe infection, and in pain something fierce. Seeing her lying there, helpless and miserable, really dragged something up deep out of me. I was nearly in tears myself as she was howling in pain. The desire to jump in and see to it that she got the best medical care the world has to offer consumed me and I could think about little else. I examined the hospital she was taken to and was depressed at the sight of it. I hoped with everything I had that she'd receive good care there and would be released in fantastic health. A few minutes later, it was explained that the infection she had claimed her life after three weeks in hospital. Awful. How completely awful. That poor, poor woman, caught up in some of the worst of what greed, ignorance, and fear have to offer. What a shame. 
  • Didn't have a moment's hesitation taking my medication last night or this morning. Perhaps the public outing of my ridiculous fear was enough to chase it away. 

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