Monday, May 9, 2011

I successfully shamed the medical students into being good doctors!

My session with the medical students went really well.  I felt good about the way it went from the reactions of the students, and afterward the feedback from the professors was fantastic.  I was also surprised by a $50 Visa gift card, which was totally unnecessary but very nice.

I spoke to first year medical students who are taking an infectious disease class right now, and my mom is one of the teachers, so the other professors have been hearing about my medical issues for the past almost seven years now.  They asked me to come in for their unit on immune suppressed patients and the issues they deal with.  My mom and I were on stage together to respond to their questions.  I was expecting them to ask more medically based questions, but the students really seemed to respond to the fact that we're all around the same age and asked some really great questions about dealing with being sick.  One asked what makes a good doctor, they wanted to know what I'll be pursuing a masters in, asked about my health insurance, the reaction of friends, how I entertain myself when I can't go out and do anything because of my immunosuppression, side effects of medications, etc.  The two questions that stood out to me because they were so personal were one about how I maintain a good attitude through this, and one about dating with cancer.  The attitude question, I tend to be a positive person and I also have a great support system.  Dating with cancer, well, that one is a little more complicated.  A lot of the time that I've been sick I was/am so concentrated on myself and what's happening in my life that it wouldn't be fair to a boyfriend, and I wouldn't be interested in having someone in my life anyway.  It's also hard to find someone who would put up with all of the medical visits and crap like that. 

I thought it was great that they were so interested in my life and how I deal with being sick rather than just asking about the medical stuff.  People who are interested in patients are the best doctors.  You want a doctor who cares about you as a person, not just someone who wants the paycheck a doctor gets.  I tried to impress on them the dehumanizing aspects of being a patient and how important the comportment of the care team is and what sort of behavior patients appreciate.  It seems like these students will make good doctors.  Several of them came up to me after the class was over to thank me for coming and speaking to them too, which was nice. 

Clearly I successfully brainwashed them into being good docs.  You can all thank me in another three or four years when they're residents :)

11 comments:

kiwi in france said...

What an interesting experience, great for you and for the students. I guess they deal with the medical side of things all the time so it'd be nice to hear about what life is like from the patients side. Good on you!

Mary Harvest Kitchen said...

Yay! Good job, M! I see an inspirational speaking career in your future... xx

Ksam said...

Wow, what a great thing for you to do!! I really hope they will remember your talk as they continue on in their careers.

au soleil levant said...

Thanks guys! It was really flattering to me that they seemed to enjoy it so much.

Leah said...

Wow, that's really impressive! Well done you!!

getyourselfconnected said...

What an interesting experience! I do hope they take your advice. Great to read you.

Zhu said...

I sometimes feel medical students just cram knowledge and technical terms and may easily forget they are dealing with actual human beings. I don't blame them though, you have to distance yourself from the job... yet it's great you got to interact with them! I'm sure they learned a lot.

Okay, mission accomplished. Get better now :-)

Animesh said...

Great job Mira!

-A

au soleil levant said...

Thanks guys!

Zhu - Personally I like to feel as though my medical provider cares about me as a person, so hopefully they'll remember what I said about that.

Monique said...

Wow, that is impressive. I think it's neat you were able to participate and feel like a person and not an experiment, you know?! :) Thank you for being so awesome!!

au soleil levant said...

Okay, I definitely posted a thank you to Leah, GYSC, and Zhu here a few days ago but I don't see it. Blogger is weird sometimes. Anyway, I'll add Monique to the list and say thanks guys!