Tuesday, August 29, 2006

DrPak's D-day

DrPak and his fiancé take their USMLE step 1 exam right about now. I hope and pray that it goes well for both of them and that all their hard work pays off (insha’Allah).

Saturday, August 26, 2006

On Being a Doctor

"As you learn to become a doctor, there is a frequent sense of surprise, a feeling that you are not entitled to the kind of intrusion you are allowed into patients' lives. Without arguing, they permit you to examine them; it is impossible to imagine, when you do your very first physical exam, that someday you will walk in calmly and tell a man your grandfather's age to undress, and then examine him without thinking about it twice. You get used to it all, but every so often you find yourself marveling at the access you are allowed, at the way you are learning from their bodies, the stories, the lives and deaths of perfect strangers. They give up their privacy in exchange for some hope - sometimes strong, sometimes faint - of the alleviation of pain, the curing of disease. And gradually, with medical training, that feeling of amazement, that feeling that you are not entitled, scars over. You begin to identify more thoroughly with the medical profession - of course you are entitled to see everything and know everything; you're a doctor, aren't you? And as you accept this as your right, you move further from your patients, even as you penetrate more meticulously and more confidently into their lives." - Perri Klass, M.D.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Its been a while since my last post. I took my clinical skills(CS) exam in Atlanta the day before yesterday. In all there were twelve standardized patients to be seen with each encounter lasting 15 minutes…..where you had to take the history and do a quick physical exam and then counsel the patient. You are then required to write a patient note with the pertinent details, the possible diagnoses and workup for each in 10 minutes. I messed up on my first encounter where I ran out of time! After that I made it a point to be quick in my questioning. There are sooo many things that I can recall now that I missed but hopefully there is allowance for those given the time constraints. The good thing is that this one is a pass/fail exam and so the stress of scoring high does not come into play. I won’t have the results for this exam till October(stress…more stress!!)….which means I will be applying for residency with just my step 1 and step 2 CK scores in hand. I got back from Atlanta yesterday to find my CK score (the exam I whined about till the end of July remember?) awaiting me. I scored a 91/224 which to be honest is a disappointment because I was gunning for a higher score on this as the practice exams I took had predicted considerably higher scores too. I really don’t mean to sound like an ingrate but this was one of those very rare occasions in life where I did let my hopes get a little high…..even after having found the exam hard. That said….I am not depressed and am not hanging on to it either. I am really  thankful to God for having brought me this far and its time to move on. It’s been hard having to study day in and day out for more than a year and a half and I am glad it has finally drawn to an end. I must now complete my residency application. There is lots of work to be done in that department. I have yet to work on my personal statement and get a couple of letters of recommendation from back home. The problem here is that the professors at my medical college have delegated the non-enviable task of writing MY letters of recommendation to……ME! So, imagine my plight….how do I write about four such letters…make them sound different and then write my personal statement too making sure it doesn’t sound the same as those letters….did that make sense? As of now Aya is brain dead! I have not even an ounce of creativity left in me…what little I had went down the drain when I joined medical college!I will keep updating on this exciting aspect of my life…..meanwhile keep praying for me(especially my CS exam results….I cannot afford to fail that!) and those who did pray for me....I thankyou all!