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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Holy crap, I'm going to be a doctor. No, like, REALLY.

There's a professor here who always says this is the semester students realize they're actually going to be real life, white coat wearing, stethoscope listening, prescription writing doctors. Let me tell you, she is not lying.

I think it hit me when I was reminded my facebook's gentle "Look what happened a year, two years, three years ago, seven years ago!" notification in my newsfeed. If anyone is wondering, three years ago I complained about slipping my way across an icy Loyola campus (HA, not anymore!) and posted a picture of my clarinet to instagram. I know,  SUCH a nerd. But seven years ago held the real gem- there was a picture with me and my four friends from high school laying on the floor of Walmart. I... I don't even know, guys. Teenagers are so strange; we probably thought we were "edgy" and "standing out from society's preconceived ideas of what's normal" but I would like to point out I was 100% wearing American Eagle jeans and we were in Walmart so, clearly, no.

But today in 2016 I spent the day learning which drugs to prescribe for hypertensive patients, asthmatic patients, anxious patients; memorizing different lab values for different types of lymphomas and leukemias; and listening to my neuro professor scream structures of the nervous system at bewildered medical students. Don't be too impressed, I also took a nap. Somewhere in all that it hit me that I'm going to have to DO these things. Learning to read an MRI isn't a party trick like naming the emperor's of Rome* (thanks History of ancient Rome!), it's a real life applicable gonna have to do it kinda deal. It's only a little terrifying and a lot exciting.

I think it's a pretty cool thing what we're all doing - this becoming a doctor thing, I mean. It's definitely aggravating, frustrating, exhausting, overwhelming but it's pretty neat, too. Not to get all "graduation speech"-y but it's a pretty big deal when someone entrusts their health to you and this semester is the first semester I can actually see myself as that person. It's also the first time I feel smarter than Dr. Gregory House. Try something other than sarcoidosis for once, I mean, come on.

ANYWAY! all of the above is why my posts are far more infrequent than when I first began medical school - plus the fact that the island no longer has the ability to surprise me. (Fun fact, our car died on the French side 2 weeks ago and it still lives there- no one seems to care. Except the semi we blocked and then proceeded to back up traffic for a smaaalll part of the island, that's our bad. Totally on us... ) We did manage to walk to McDonald's from there (our original destination) and hail a friend to come get us. And eat a few fries. You know, why waste a trip? We held a wake for Paco that night, it was a very somber occasion and we all feel like better people for having known him.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to memorize drug names until I forget the names of everyone in my family.

*(I can't name all the Emperor's of Rome. I only studied in Rome for the wine and mozzarella, I learned nothing other than Limencello is not to be consumed like a regular beverage)

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