During my freshman year of undergraduate studies, I had the privilege to shadow a joint replacement surgeon who is reputed to be one of the best in his field. If I tried to describe all the nuggets of knowledge he passed down to me this post would be more of an essay than a blog post, but he did impart on me one piece of information, which I am seeing ever-more clearly through this internship. A true optimist at heart, he spent quite some time in my three-day shadowing experience with him to explicate the diverse body of professions that medicine has to offer. Whether one is introverted or someone has the innate desire to spend their time directly with people, there is a role in medicine for those who seek to find it. Although at the time baffled in awe of surgery, I remember this being a very encouraging statement to me at the time after hearing the parade of advisors and physicians who convey only the their disgruntled view about their profession, a practice not exclusive to medicine. Although only looking through a keyhole at the vast world of healthcare, I was very fortunate to see first hand the truth behind a piece of advice given to me not too long ago.
As part of my internship, I have the opportunity to tag along with a team of scientist at meetings or events that I may not be directly contributing to in order to help me gain greater exposure into medicine. One such instance was a visit to a pathologist. Although my preconceived notion of a pathologist was an irritated, introvert I found quite the opposite to be true. The pathologist we visited was almost like a magician. We took him about twenty slides to look at. After greeting me quite pleasantly, he allowed me to look under the microscope with him simultaneously. After letting me know he would go quite a bit slower then his normal speed so he could point things out to me, he sped through the cohort at an unbelievable speed. He was having a full conversation with me about my interests, pointing out the unique characteristics of the cells under the slides, and making conclusions about them seamlessly. I was in wonder of the refined skill and vast impact he was able to have without ever actually seeing patients. I can now see more clearly that each person can have an integral role in medicine based on his or her interests. I am fortunate to have been able to gain a glimpse of another dimension of medicine in its complex world.