Monday, March 10, 2008

Words I'd use to describe med school: Collegial

Medical school has provided me with the opportunity to meet some incredible people. I've already used the word Honour to describe medical school, and now I'll explain why I feel medical school could be described as Collegial as well. From inspiring classmates to amazing physicians, I've been inspired by so many of the people I have met, and how much I feel a part of a profession that works together to provide patient care.

I've
written about some of my amazing classmates (more than once), but not yet about the amazing doctors I've met. Based on my experiences with doctors ranging from the high-profile leaders to the average family physician, being part of med school has made me feel as though I am a part - not just an observer - of a collegial body of professionals.

By the time this year is over, I will have had the opportunity to meet the president of the Canadian Medical Association and my province's medical association multiple times, at both conferences and events held specifically for my school's medical students. These individuals are frequently in the media and it's a great opportunity to be able to speak with them in person.

As well, I had the chance to sit as the student representative for a board of director's meeting for my province's medical association. I was surprised that I had already met or knew of many of the physician representatives there, either through shadowing, at conferences, through initiatives I've worked on or because their children are in medical school, and how many more of the doctors that I didn't know who were willing to get to know me and make sure I didn't feel left out.

Finally, some of the doctors I've been most inspired by are those who don't have fancy titles or national profiles. At conferences, society dinners or through shadowing experiences, I've had so many experiences where the phyisicans have been willing to approach the medical students and make us feel welcome and at home. Rural doctors especially are always trying hard to show us how much they love their jobs, and how well they can balance their lives and professions. And they tell great stories - from
what it's like to be a rural doctor, to, well, stories that end like this (best told in a Scottish accent): "So there he is, pants at his ankles, nekkid from the waist down, nurses watching, singing 'Away in a Manger' in Portuguese...with a sigmoidoscope up his arse!"

No group of people is perfect, and I do hear of the disparity in perspectives of the specialists association and the family practitioners association, especially on issues such as fee distribution. But personally I've felt overwhelmed at the feeling of acceptance that I've experienced, and I genuinely feel that two years ago I wasn't just accepted to medical school - I was accepted into the medical profession.



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