The past week was an amazing learning experience, one that only comes from real life scenarios and cannot be simulated in a classroom setting.
During the week I had a patient going through a very hard time in life. We all have problems in life but sometimes people have been put under unimaginable circumstances and the way they handle themselves could fool anyone. Just meeting someone or talking to someone doesn’t always give you the complete picture of what they are going through in their life, but health care providers are given access to this information often. Patients look to physicians for answers when they are in need – whether physically, mentally, or emotionally – and being the one to comfort those in need is a huge reason I got into this field.
Saying you want to do something and actually doing it are two completely different things, and though that seems obvious, it was a hard lesson to learn this past week. I had to be strong yet sympathetic, all the while trying not be upset because my empathy for others really affects me sometimes. I was hurt that my patient was hurt but I had to be there to comfort my patient.
We go through the classes, take the tests, see standardized patients, and work through case studies, but none of it prepares you for real life in the way that real patient interactions do. Many interns come into clinic thinking we know it all already; I know because I was one of them. Now I know why experience is such a necessity; knowing how to handle a situation is only half the battle. The will and ability to handle these situations has to be present as well. It was a hard situation to go through; I wanted to help more but I could obviously only help so much. I need to learn to come to grips with the fact I can’t solve every problem for every patient; I can only help as much as possible and know that it makes a difference.
Saturday was Smithsonian Live free museum day. I took my girlfriend to the Tampa Museum of Art to enjoy the day. The Tampa Museum of Art is located on the Hillsborough River along the beautiful Tampa Riverwalk. The museum has contemporary and classic art with constantly rotating exhibits. They had an amazing photorealism display as well as art from the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans. Our school is located in St. Petersburg right across the bay from Tampa. I have written a lot about the area in previous blogs, but I haven’t mentioned much about the city of Tampa.
The greater Tampa Bay area is amazing; both St. Pete and Tampa have museums and entertainment galore. Since I have done a lot of the main attractions in St. Pete, I figured I would take a short drive over to Tampa. It was a beautiful day both in the museum and out on the Riverwalk.
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