Things have been busy lately. Between working full time and shadowing for a couple weeks, I have barely been able to catch up with myself. Of course last week, I went to Reno with my friend Emily to get away for the weekend. It was a great time, we played and got some gambling in. I also learned a lot about medicine, more about that later.
What I got out of shadowing will definitely help me with interviews. One doctor kept saying that he might change my mind about going into the profession. All that shadowing did, was affirm to myself that this is what I want to do. The last round of shadowing, I followed a Gastroenterologist, a General Practitioner and an Oncologist. I felt that I got a good view of medicine. I was able to glean a few medical conditions and words, but simply observing how they handled different patients and what their typical day consisted of. The Gastroenterologist had a tight schedule with as many patients as she could fit in, and half of her day consisted of doing procedures. She saw specialized problems, although most were the same types of things, all to deal with the gastrointestinal tract (of course). The General Practitioner had long term patients, whom he saw through to end of life care; dealt with lipid management and general health. The Oncologist was the most interesting. She followed patients through their diagnosis of cancer and afterwards. During their cancer, she sees them usually every 3 weeks (all depending on the type of cancer they are diagnosed with). She talks to them to make sure their medicines are working as they should, then does a general exam and Okays them for their Chemotherapy. It is amazing how far the science of treating cancer patients has come in recent years, from 2 types of Chemo, to many – which can be specific to the type of cancer they treat and therefore give the patients with fewer side effects. I do have to say that Oncology would be a rewarding profession, although it would be very very challenging to cope with the emotional aspects as a physician or as a person. Overall, all of my shadowing experiences have been rewarding and I feel have prepared me well for my next step in this, which will be the application.
So, on to the Reno adventure… It ties in with my Celiac Disease and issues I have been having lately with my health. I got sick on Saturday morning, more than just a hangover, and it got worse throughout the day. Of course the medication I had discussed with my doctor was back at home in Portland. After a point I decided to go to an urgent care, but the friend who was with me decided that an ER was closer. I was miserable enough to not care; I just wanted some fluids and meds to manage the pain. I ended up having a really long wait, and having to beg to get any kind of attention at all (like the meds I had been promised when I checked in). I finally did what I should have done before I left the hotel, which was to call the on-call physician from a clinic in Portland. I quickly told him my story, and the 2 types of drugs that I needed. He checked my chart and called them in to a pharmacy that was close-by. Everything ended up working out just fine for me, and I was even able to get a little gambling in that evening with Emily. I am out a few hundred dollars from that mistake, and a little pride. I also learned my lesson about what medical help is available during the weekends, even if I am far away from home.