Monday, July 5, 2010

Man vs. Cow

So today we had a case of Car Cars vs. Pedestrian (yes, the ratio was 2 cars to 1 pedestrian), and Car vs. Bull. Actually, that's pretty low in terms of new admissions. There were also the in-patients from last week, which include Man vs. Cow (see above), Car vs. Car, Man vs. Pole, Man vs. Ground, Pool vs. Man, Man vs. Bitumen, Man vs. Self.

You know, it was really exciting to see medicine in an acute setting today. So far it's been Diabetes and Heart Failure and Kidney disease, which kill you eventually. Today I found myself in a ward round where patients had life threatening injuries, or at least those with serious implications on their immediate welfare and disability. I'm talking about obtunded patients with GCS of 5 and brain monitors checking their intracranial pressures and CVCs and ICCs with lung contusions and pelvic fractures in ways that defy physics. In fact, I saw a cervical halo being put into an unconscious guy in ICU. It's all pretty exciting stuff, although I must admit as a student I still feel one step removed from the whole process. Maybe it takes some time to adjust to a new hospital and staff. But it sure feels good to be practising medicine without the added pressure of ticking off boxes in our Block Guides. Also, today made me realise exactly how much I've learnt this past year. 12 months ago all this medical jargon would've been Spanish to me. Now it's like a second language. Someone mentions bleeding and I have all these ideas floating through my head, rather than panic and embarrassment for being a "fake" medical student. Now I feel somewhat validated.

I guess my goal for this elective isn't so much about learning Trauma protocols. Sure, the lingo is pretty cool: "26 year old male involved in a high speed, unrestrained motor vehicle accident secondary to substance abuse, suffering a headstrike and brief LOC, with significant cabin intrusion..." But I think what I really want to discover is what it means to be a contributing member of a medical team, about helping out with seemingly trivial tasks and paperwork that is the bane of an intern's career. I think after all this learning and cramming I've done for semester 9, it's time for me to give something back.

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