Kamini Doobay, Class of 2017, wrote the following poem shortly after Schizophrenia was covered in class and she saw a patient with the disease in the hospital. From the author: “This is my attempt to write a narrative poem about a patient based in a time/culture when typical antipsychotics dominated and when there was much less awareness and understanding of the disease. Though the medications have improved and lives are better, we are far from perfect.”
This week was a little unusual for two reasons. First, we did not have an exam. Second, I was away at a conference the previous week, presenting my research. Therefore, I spent a lot of time catching up on things (e.g. sleep, errands etc.).
11:30AM: Wake up and walk my dog
12PM: Eat breakfast/lunch and answer emails
Hi Again! You will in this post see how things look during the final week of classes. You will notice there’s a lot less happening in my schedule other than classes/studying during this time because it is crack-down mode! And then STEP 1 Board Preparation begins! I have allotted myself 4 weeks for Board studying after classes are over.
9-10am: Pulmonary lecture- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
“Breathe with your patient – with your stethoscope placed correctly. In and out….and again, in and out.”
As I fumbled to get my earpiece in correctly and gently place the cold stethoscope on Mr. T’s back, Dr. Fierer spoke these words. Breathe with my patient? I nodded in acceptance, for he knew what he was doing and I clearly did not. My skepticism and self-doubt was not obvious. No one – the doctor, the patient or my fellow classmates – could tell that all I was thinking was,”How can I breathe with my patient and listen at the same time?”
9-11am: Endocrinology lectures
Woke up late! So missed the first hour of lecture. But totally not worried, can watch the video recording online or just look at the course syllabi text.
The day began with four hours of the new module – physiology. From the very beginning, I was thoroughly enthralled by the material. I was that little child who asked “but whyyy” many times a day and physiology fulfilled that very question.
At 3 pm, a session was held to teach us how to go about preparing an abstract for our summer research project. Not only was it useful for my writing but even more importantly, it had me ruminating on the many different parts of my research projects.
My preceptor went ahead to double check whether the patient was willing to speak with me. I heard a woman’s voice and tried to imagine what she looked like-was that a Caribbean accent I heard? My preceptor drew back the curtain and introduced me to the patient. Then he turned and strolled out of the room to leave me alone with Mrs. Washington.*
A Plea to Her Father
Is it a disease? I used to ask.
How can a man be ruled by a flask?
Falling into an abyss and falling so fast,
Into this horrid spell that life itself cast.
Today I discovered a wonderful aspect of academic medicine – Grand Rounds. We all get the lengthy emails sent every Thursday notifying us of the wide variety of activities Mount Sinai has to offer yet I had never considered the notices about grand rounds to be directed at me, the first year medical student only 1/8th of the way to the MD degree. In last week’s announcement however, the Oncology Grand Rounds on the Role of Autophagy in Lung Cancer caught my eye. Armed with my knowledge from the Molecular Cellular and Genomics course that I just left behind in December, I went to the session held at noon in Seminar Room A in the Hess Center. Granted, there were several instances where I felt I knew nothing but then they would be followed by moments of illumination, where my classroom experience and medicine in the real world aligned. Grand rounds have since become one of my favorite pastimes.