It’s been a month into our “compulsory rotatory internship” as they call it here and there’s so much we have to say about it! It’s going to be a long post. At the outset, apologies from us, for being so irregular on updating our blog. We’ve been busy among other things.
But to start with, I have to tell you that I am absolutely one hundred percent, and every cell in my body will agree when I say this, thoroughly enjoying it. I am an intern now. The past four years I was a student. We sat in a classroom or the library for hours on end and learnt things from our textbooks. This year we are walking the wards, interacting with patients who have those very peculiar signs we read in the textbooks about and I’m as fascinated as a kid in Disneyland. No offense to anyone.
A little insight into the kind of person I was up until now. I hated waking up every morning and going to class. I didn’t see the point of attendance, I still don’t. So every week I’d take atleast one day off (apart from the Sunday) to sleep. Or to just spend time doing leisure reading. (Pa, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry but I’ve never had attendance shortage, so we’re good). So obviously, even though I was excited for this new phase of life, I was kind of dreading being there for work everyday, and not being to take holidays and so forth.
But come internship, something changed. I am a doctor. I am at the bottom of the hierarchy pile, but a doctor still. Every morning we have to be in the hospital by 7.30 am. I live in an apartment with my roommate, so to be showered and fed and caffeinated I need atleast an hour. Which means I have to be awake by 6.00 am in the very least. And I am not joking, not a single day has gone by that I’ve woken up and felt oh this is too much I need a break.
I love going to the hospital. I love talking to each of my patients every morning and asking them if they slept through the night or if they had a bowel movement this morning. If you think we get to do greys anatomy kind of interning, you’re mistaken. In our hospital let me tell you what our job profile is. Every morning there will be rounds done by the unit’s chief doctor, few other doctors from the same unit, the first second and third year post graduate students and then us.
So our work includes doing pre rounds before these rounds start which means checking if the patient had any fresh complaints in the night, checking his pulse and BP and updating the drug charts according to changes made during rounds the previous day, and checking the reports of investigations that were sent for the patient.
Apart from this if the PG wants a certain report to be collected urgently, we sprint down to the laboratories or the xray department and get them too. In the surgical branches, we also have to clean and dress the wound everyday. And follow the doctors on rounds. That is literally it.
I’ve heard so many of my seniors complain that our work as interns is clerical and we don’t really get to practice actual medicine. Agreed. But you know what? I don’t care. And I spoke to not really Watson today and she shares my feelings on this one. (Big surprise there) we don’t care that we aren’t getting to do something important or that our job might seem not so important, but we love being there every single day. We love being part of the whole process.
As students we only took a patient’s history and examined him and discussed this with an attending like we’ve said before. But now, from the time he walks into the casualty complaining of say breathlessness or an acute appendicitis to the day he sits up in bed and says thank you doctor, im feeling better now, we’re there.
We witness how doctors interact with the patient, the patient party, how they come to a provisional diagnosis, run tests, start certain drugs, change the said drugs in case of treatment failure, how they break bad news to the patient, every little detail is a point of learning.
They work as well oiled machinery. Correction, we work as well oiled machinery. Because I believe, our tiny act of running down to collect a simple report has a butterfly effect in the bigger picture of things.
Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest batsmen international cricket has ever seen, the former captain of the Indian cricket team was once a ball boy himself before he started his magnificent career. In an interview I recently read he said, by then he had started playing cricket and therefore the officials made sure he sat near the dressing room so that he could watch all the seniors very closely. How is what we are doing any different then?
Im not saying just because we are running errands today we’ll become sachin tendulkars of our fields tomorrow. My point is, if the greats have done it, why shouldn’t we?
Martin luther king jr once said “If it falls on your fate to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michaelangelo painted pictures, like Beethoven composed music, like Shakespeare wrote plays. Sweep streets so well that the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, here lived a great sweeper who swept his job well.”