I used to know a girl who had been born with part of her arm missing. Watching her smoke a bong was amazing. Having never had the arm she was fluid in her movements and she looked fluid in all of her movements. She told me of an abortion she had had, and of what an asshole the doctor was. She said that as she laid on the table, in the emotional throes and physical discomfort that an abortion can bring, he began to question her about her arm. As she tried to prepare herself for what was about to come, he wanted to know about prosthetics…there are some great new ones on the market you know. Her natural reaction was to want to hurt him, but she managed to control herself.
I thought of her often yesterday. Not that my situation was that extreme, but I did want to shake my idiot doctor often. Actually, no, I wanted to shake the idiot 4th year medical student who was assigned my case. Why, oh why, oh why, did I go to the shittiest hospital in Caguas? Well, because I study there, and I was told it would be cheap. Blah.
I was in the ER for super duper antihistamines. (As I write this, the urge to throw a shoe is only overcome by my deep and abiding laziness.) My rash has spread, it has changed to a mottled brown, and then parts have gone back to its regular angry pink again. Did I mention parts have turned into acne. I look AMAZING.
Mr. 4th year had the benefit of having “post-traumatic seizures”. This made him a tad obsessed with my “condition” as he kept referring to it. When I told him I was on Atkins he said, “That won’t work”. And proceeded to tell me what works for him. He thought the rash might be due to my medication. When I told him I’d been on this particular combination for 3 years, he said, “it could be a delayed reaction”. When I told him I’d been on the main one for 22 years he shut the fuck up. Next he wanted to check my liver functions. I didn’t argue that one. He then told me HIS neurologist went to school here in PR, and did a residency at John Hopkins, he wanted to talk to her about my “case”. I told him my epileptologist TEACHES at the Mayo Clinic. He still thought I’d been prescribed the wrong drugs.
His attending looked like Jason Alexander, and though he wasn’t obsessed with epilepsy, he was pissy as all hell about my all my questions and I ended up walking out after he left me waiting for 45 minutes (after I got my drugs, which didn’t work, blugh)
This blog is dragging on.
The point is that I’m a third year medical student. I talk to patients, take histories, and offer opinions. If all my patients were as surly as I am, I’d be fucked. But I’m viciously aware of how little or how much doctors know at every step of medical education. Though, I’m willing to be taught by anyone, I prefer nurses. But when it comes to my own health, I certainly don’t want a med student working on me. Frankly, I don’t even trust last year residents. Hell, I don’t trust young doctors.