29 November 2009

Why I never call anymore

Recently, characters on tv have taken to enrolling in medical school. For example, the revamped Scrubs show will be set in medical school (the original started in residency). I'm actually quite curious to see what Scrubs does with this as the first few seasons were a fairly realistic portrayal of life as a resident.

On Brothers & Sisters, the youngest son and war vet, Justin, started medical school this season. His classes don't really seem anything like mine, but that could simply be a curricular difference. Medical schools all teach the same facts the first two years, but the approach to disseminating the information is quite varied. What was interesting though, it that they wrote him as a stressed out character that became removed from everyone else in his life. He lost track of much of the family gossip and was not there to support his girlfriend during his midterms; even telling her "there are going to be times when I'm not there for you."

I actually really appreciated this portrayal because honestly, that's how it happens. Like it or not, everything else comes second to medical school. Right before a final exam, your laundry, the dishes, phone calls to parents, gchat - everything is put on hold. If you're dating a medical student and you have bad news - hold on to it until the exams are done. Think of it as a preview for life to come: if you marry a doctor you will always come second to whatever patient is on the other end of that beeper. My 10 year anniversary? My daughter's first ballet recital? Your father's funeral? If I'm on call and that pager goes off... I have to go.

We joke about it sometimes, but I'm a little scared. In not too long I will be responsible for people's lives. I am leaning towards pediatric subspecialties; that could be your child. And if it was your child - consider - aren't you glad that I put everything else second to my education?

No comments: