That’s an Order! Wait-make sure they want to be hugged first.Okay, that’s better.
Yesterday I worked as a standardized patient for the doctor certification exam, pretending to have a malady and having a conga line of medical students try to diagnose me. The enormity of the grueling ordeal of becoming a doctor really hit home for me while I was there.
Imagine taking the hardest test of your life, the test that determines whether or not you can work in the job that you’ve spent 7 years in school for (3 undergrad, 4 med school). For the last two years of school, you’ve been a resident, working at the hospital. Your shifts are routinely 12+ hours, and you sleep a few minutes here and there during your shift. On a busy night, you don’t sleep at all. And it could happen that you work one of those shifts right before having to take this wickedly difficult test.
And passing the test doesn’t signal the end of the hard work and long hours. Patients don’t stop being sick after 5PM or on weekends. Every doctor tries to set some kind of work/life balance, but it’s against your very nature to neglect those who need you for the sake of your own life.
Also keep in mind how bafflingly complex the human body really is. You shouldn’t be surprised that you get sick: you should be astounded that you’re ever healthy at all. And we look to these doctors to give us quick and simple fixes to this complicated machine, without ever making a mistake or misjudgment. Talk about pressure.
A special shout out has to go to the one resident who was taking the certification exam and was at least 5 months pregnant. Learning medicine evidently wasn’t enough of a challenge for this brave woman, so she threw in (and possibly up) the most difficult human endeavor, procreation. And, she was a kick ass doctor. I would have that soon-to-be momma doc work on me any day.