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Today I started a new rotation, one that I have prepared for over the past year. As a Lancet Student blogger, I’ve written about my time in the Nursery, and my time working in Geriatrics. Over the past year I have delivered babies and ministered to the dying…and dealt with every conceivable event in between. Now I am learning how to communicate the art and science of medicine to my peers and profession. During this posting I will be learning how to make a difference in the health of a population, in addition to making a difference in the health of an individual.
Although my rotations have been so different: Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Surgery, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, there are some common things that happen on each rotation, at least when it comes to my experiences. Although the knowledge or experiences that I am supposed to understand each month are vastly different, the emotional and mental response to the new colleagues and work situations I find each time I light on a new assignment is very similar for me. I am jittery, a little too easy to please, too talkative (I’m a nervous talker.) and a bit of a boor. For someone who is “a bit of a boor” at the best of times, this can be disastrous.
I have come to accept this as the growing pains of becoming a physician, lessons in becoming malleable of mind and spirit. Also, I’ve found this is a kind of test for my colleagues for the month, a way of showing me at my worst for a short time, to see that if even then they can work with me.
The grace and compassion that the staff of The Lancet showed me on the first day, as I got turned around time and again, waxed poetic on things I have no real knowledge of, and stumbled through piecing a couple of sentences together in a morning’s time was wonderful. I have experienced this before at the beginning of my truly great clinical assignments of the past year. I know it is an indication of how much learning that I will do over the next month.
So at the risk of appearing precious, I want to thank the staff of The Lancet in advance for all that I will learn in the next month. I will make the welcome count.