None of my blog posts will be literary gems this year. Most will be first-drafts thrown together quickly in stolen moments – small eddies amid the rushing hours. The restrictions placed on us regarding personal details of our patients makes recording the most impactful parts of my learning difficult, but I am afraid if I write nothing these moments will be lost to me.
Until now, I have met plenty of patients who have allowed me to speak to them, to ask them questions, to touch them, and to learn from them. But their ‘real’ doctor has always been alongside. Today my role shifted. Such a subtle shift. For the first time my role as student was irrelevant to my patient. I asked some questions and it was more important for her sake than for mine that I ask the right ones. I looked at the labs, I found a problem, I discussed it with the doctor. When he finalized the plan, I wrote the report and put it in her chart. But then he was gone for the day and it was me who went back to explain what was happening and what would happen next – to see if she had any questions. And then when she had no more, it was my job to put my hand on her arm and let her know that I thought she was going to be OK and that I thought she should get some sleep. And I could tell it mattered to her because her eyes asked my eyes to tell her the truth about whether or not I really cared. And my eyes told her that I really did. And it mattered to me too.