I love days like today where we get to interview a “patient” (a paid member/actor from the local community) and then discuss what could be going on. We are being taught how to think as clinicians. And this is my ideal way to learn.

I really like the medical doctor who teaches us in this small group session.

“What could be causing elevated direct bilirubin in the liver?” she asked us.

We threw out some answers:

“The liver is working too hard?”

“The liver has a lot to process?”

She laughed. “Okay, so maybe the liver is working overtime? Putting in some extra hours? Any other ideas?”

And I learned what happens when a patient comes in with severe pain, clutching their upper right abdomen, and it is up to us, the (student) doctors to figure out what could be causing her symptoms.

And we go through the thought process of each possible diagnosis and what tests we need to rule out certain diagnoses over others.

Days like today help me get through the many hours of studying, the times where I just can’t connect to the material, the times where I feel like a zombie, an empty shell of an existence. Days like today make me feel alive and excited and capable and interested.

Universe? God? More days like today, please.

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