Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hoping for that magic spark of panic

Otherwise, how will I ever find the motivation to study more neurology today?

I already blew hours of time yesterday which I could have used to study, but no. What has happened to me? I used to whine and complain but I would eventually study, and study big time. Now it seems the thrill is gone.

Maybe it's burnout. Maybe it's just neurology. Or maybe its... shudder... neuroanatomy.

In any case it will be all over tomorrow, when I take my third-to-last shelf exam, leaving only psych and medicine to conquer before I reach the promised land of 4th year.

So, what did I think of neurology? Well, the people (residents/attendings) were almost unanimously extremely nice. Okay, but how did I like neurology?

They were very, very nice.

You know, like the classic example from When Harry Met Sally, when Harry points out that saying a woman has a good personality only means she's unattractive if "she has a good personality" is the answer to the question, "What does she look like?"

Neurology is interesting in theory, but it goes against one of my core traits, something my dad calls "a strong bias towards action". I want to DO stuff to patients that makes them better. In neurology, it just seems like you do stuff to patients just to better define all of the stuff you can't really fix. Plus, there is something deeply and spiritually disturbing about seeing patients who are now different people because of a 1cm-wide change in their brain.

Plus--and please believe me of understatement when I say this--neurology easily ties rheumatology for the coveted Specialty With the Most Crazy Patients award.

And no, I'm not forgetting psychiatry.

In any case, like it or no, it's time for me to do the age-old medical student ritual of cramming what feels like millions of anti-convulsant drugs and their various uses into my brain for the exam so that I can immediately forget them for the tenth time.

Next post: the never-ending cycle of Relearning and Reforgetting: the Cornerstone of Medical Education.

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