Friday, March 13, 2009

The Blog Rounds 31st Edition (March 2009) Round-Up: Quo Vadis, Medical Graduate? (Updated)

Graduation. At once a glorious and unnerving moment in your life. And for you, aspiring doctor (or starting specialist, as Em Dy points out), who have devoted precious years and youth to the study of medicine, graduation takes on a whole new meaning altogether.

A senior consultant, notorious for his harsh, almost demeaning ways in the rounds and in the operating room, once said, "Better that I prepare you now, because this in turn will prepare you for the big bad world." Or something to that effect. He may have seemed to me like a big bad wolf on some occasions, but I hate to say, graduates, he is so right.

Outside, the big bad world is filled with ugly truths, unsettling choices, and unavoidable adversaries. But, and this my good consultant did not blatantly say (I just have to look at his practice to see that his years of experience and hard work indeed paid off) this same bad world will reward you, as long as you take most of your lessons into heart.

And what are these lessons? I have called on my fellow doctor bloggers, all of them in various stages of their respective medical careers (recent board passer, generalist, specialist, educator, or somewhere in-between) to give their insights on what to expect in the years to come and what to do in preparation for more rough times ahead.

You may find that we seem to stand on different grounds regarding matters such as:

1. deciding if medicine should be really looked at as a calling or not
2. whether to complete your training at the soonest versus taking a moment to look at life outside medicine
3. choosing whether to be a specialist or a generalist

And yet most of us tend to agree that:

1. we need to prepare financially for the future
2. we work with people who are just as deserving of humane treatment
3. there is, definitely, life outside of medicine

Now, for the posts.

J.A. said it best: we are students for the rest of our lives. Read about this and her other unsolicited advices she has dispensed since her graduation in April 2005 here.

Doc Harry, I must say, truly lives it up as a pathfinder. He calls on the graduates to find their own paths in this post.

Anakat chose to "reconnect with herself", something that she would not have enjoyed during training. And enjoying her youth and freedom seems to be doing her good.

Gaya did something I personally should have done many years ago: plan meticulously. She has mapped out her game plan in her manifesto. To the graduates, she has these to say.

The Last Song Syndrome asks you to look a little closer, once more: Do you really want this life? She sums up her post by saying: Be happy, above all.

Alack, Megamom states that there is nothing happy with waiting for patients for hours. To save you the heartache, she tells you to do your research and start setting up your medical business. Read about her motherly advices here.

Joey MD also recognizes the need to save up and invest, and suggests starting a small business on the side if you can. She enumerates a few more valuable pointers here.

Meloinks gives you more ways to view the big bad world as he talks about the dissociation of the Philippine medical education from the real world, specialization bias, the business side of medicine, the virtue of the HMO's and tackling the medical trivia examination here.

Doc Ness collates some words of wisdom from the "young once", all of whom are specialists, and at the same time ponders on the careers of her colleagues who have chosen to serve in the barrios. This is what she personally thinks.

Clairebear reveals something darker and bigger, whether you are a specialist or a generalist: Being a doctor is nothing like being in medical school. You seem to lose everything you have learned once you come face to face with real patients and real setting. How is this best handled? Through experience.

There is no blueprint, no ready-made road maps that you can take on in your medical career, says Bonedoc. He does raise a number of questions that may very well serve as your rough guide, and they are all here.

Finally, Em Dy, who happens to be the earliest to submit her contribution, gives a very simple but succinct advice to doctors who are just starting their practice: Love the downtime.

It is an honor and a pleasure for me to host this edition of The Blog Rounds as always. Thank you very much to those who have submitted their posts. To those who haven't, you are still welcome to contribute, and I will keep on updating this post (like I just did minutes ago ;) ).

Lastly, to the medical graduates, congratulations, and hopefully you have picked a lesson or two from the round-up. Here's someone from the big bad world wishing you all the best.


Doc Harry said...

Great edition of TBR! All doctors should write more, whether to and for themselves or for sharing as well.

Em Dy said...

Great round-up! Here's to more of The Blog Rounds!

ness said...

Late to submit but early to comment! :-)

Great hosting, Lei Si! Thank you for this round-up. We all miss TBR!!

myorthodoc said...

Oi habol po ako! Here's my contrilate-ion:

theworkingmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theworkingmom said...

Great roundup, Doc Gigi! Thank you so much for this topic. I really enjoyed doing this!

Joey of