Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's nice to be a PGY-2 going back and doing things you've already done for a second time - makes you feel like you actually know something about something! Sometimes. Other times it's extremely challenging because you are viewed by most attendings to be able to do everything yourself and asking PGY-1 type questions is frowned upon. Freedom always comes with a price!

I had my first palliative patient this week who actually expired during the consultation. While I was trying to clean his face with warm towels so the stains of death didn't disturb his family, I noticed that I no longer have overwhelming feelings of sadness when people die. I'm not sure that's a good thing. This month on palliative I have yet to cry and considering I treated someone the other day who's younger than I am and who is dying of metastatic cancer - I'm starting to wonder what's wrong with me. Is my skin growing in too thick after many years of being tender-hearted? Has my disillusionment with residency extended to not emotionally engaging with my patients? Or is it a compensation for one of my colleagues that cries over every patient. Who knows.

Back to OB next! I've delivered 2 of my own babies so far and have another due this week so I'm pretty stoked!

1 comment:

Milk and Two Sugars said...

I think you are probably just seeing their deaths in a particular context; one where it is okay. Something similar happened to me last year, for months on end, and I thought maybe I'd lost my compassion for good. But I've become properly upset over 2 patients this year, only one of whom died, which I hope is a healthy number. I hope you can feel the same way about your current state of mind; chances are someone will touch you deeply again, and you'll be just as upset as you ever were ;). In the meantime I'm glad all's going well.