Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night and go see what’s left to eat around my kitchen.
I found a chocolate bar in the back of my fridge and it infused life back into my med-student mind and body. I felt lighter, somehow. Happier.
I took 6 months off from medical school last year after getting an infection from a male medical student I was dating. He claimed I was his soul mate after a few months, that “we must be from the same planet” because “wherever you’re from, that’s where I’m from, too.”
Well, he told me to “f*ck off” when I told him he got me sick. And this was after I looked him boldly in the eye to say: “You can’t just call people your soul mate and then treat them this way.”
It’s almost like I was talking to a sociopath, begging him to consider being a good person.
Before I chose to approach him in person, I called him. He was scared. He didn’t want to be the reason I was sick. He refused to believe that he caused it, and that pissed me off more than anything.
I cried: “You’re gonna be a doctor! Where’s your compassion?”
He answered: “Yes, but I’m not your doctor.”
The experience made me really contemplate: Isn’t it time for medical schools to make better decisions about who they’re accepting into the medical profession?
Yes, do well in school, know the fundamental sciences, know the clinical skills, know the pathophysiology. But what kind of person are you? How deeply do you care about human life?
Those are the prerequisites for getting into my ideal medical school, for the ideal medical doctor I want to see getting accepted to medical school.
Care deeply about human life AND care deeply about the medical knowledge AND care deeply about wanting to be there for someone in a way that no one knew how to be there for you.
For me, that is what it means to be called a healer. And that’s a title to earn.