Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I guess there was some sort of major sports-related debacle in Boston recently?

Yes, the Boston Red Sox won, swept rather, this year's World Series. Yes, I go to school in Boston. I go to school directly across the street from Fenway Park. This does not, however, necessarily mean that I am a Red Sox fan or even that I participated in the extensive celebrations. I am fairly certain that I slept through the ALCS win, although I did have to photograph the goings-on at Fenway the next day. I was almost asleep two nights ago until someone nearby started pounding on a cowbell, and the mayhem began. These, however, are instances for which I will pull my "C card." I would love to have photographed the reaction to the ALCS win and the World Series win. Seriously, how many times will I be in Boston when the Red Sox win the World Series? Probably not too many. But I could not afford to stay up until 2 in the morning in the cold with hordes of riotous people, especially when I am more susceptible to sickness. My cold has come back either way, but it never really leaves. So I suppose this was one of those times when cancer interfered with being a normal student. I regret not photographing everything, but I know I made the right decision. There's always the Patriots?

In other news, today I was interviewed/spoke in front of the first-year Boston University medical students. I was nervous; I was hungry; I had no idea what to expect. The discussion went Awesomely. I didn't stutter too much, and I only lisped once. Seriously though, I am so happy with how receptive the students were. Apparently I was very "eloquent" and provided a necessary contrasting perspective for these students, usually so intent on the science of medicine. The focus of the conversation was my experience with doctors and my opinions on how to find a balance between treating illnesses with medicine and treating the patient as a Person. My view is that a doctor needs to be able to empathize with his or her patients. It is not fair to any person to be treated as an object of Science, when they really just want someone to treat them as equals. I have found this especially hard for medical students and interns to understand because they are trying so hard to maintain doctor/patient boundaries, in addition to the fact that they don't have much experience with patients. My case is special also because I was by no means a passive patient. I wanted to know what was going on with me, whether I understood it or not. It is insulting to me if you don't recognize my intelligence or the fact that I need to be active. The hospital was the worst place for me, which I think my doctors eventually understood, even though it took some time to get used to my nature.

I hope the medical students understand that the best thing they can do is treat someone with respect and some degree of empathy. Hopefully my sitting in front of them increases their understanding that while I am still a patient, and I need to be treated for my disease, I am also one of their peers and should be treated as such. They actually gave me a standing ovation at the end, which, while embarrassing for me, makes me hope that maybe some of what I said sank in. Maybe my experiences can be positively translated to help others. That's what I hope, anyway.

I have a midterm tomorrow that I am really not prepared for, but I think it will turn out okay. After that, I will be sleeping and sleeping some more. Happy Tuesday, sad toad. Things are looking up. Peace.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Hey! I'm glad your talk went well! I think it's really important that young professionals have the opportunity to hear from "the other side". Hearing another persons perspective is really imperative. And you are so eloquent!
Good luck with your midterms!
Talk to you soon!