If all goes according to plan, three medical students will be renting my home very soon. I met them last night and I like them a lot.
I like the idea of three big brains living here, mainlining coffee, charging their phones, putting their scrubs in a hamper. My home is a good place to be (good vibes, true story) and my fondest wish is that these folks will be better doctors later because they lived here. They’ll be able to say:
“Remember our second year, you guys? That amazing apartment we had? Yeah… That was cool. Got me through Musculoskeletal Systems II.”
Then one of them will say:
“Can you believe that chick renovated her bathroom and kitchen and then freaking moved?”
And somewhere, far, far away, I will weep.
When they came to see the place, one of the gang arrived before the others and we had some time to chat. This pleased me a great deal. I have never known anyone in medical school until now, unless you count the army of interns and residents I have interacted with over the course of my being sick, which I don’t. But I’ve always been so curious about what med school is like, why a person chooses it, and how it all happens, from undergrad to loans to residencies to actual jobs. There in my own living room, I suddenly had the chance to talk to a pre-doctor about all that. I tried not to interrogate.
“Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor?”
“Are you driven by a deep love of practicing medicine?”
“Do you enjoy it?”
“Is there a secret form you have to fill out to eventually get that doctor look and smell?”
“What’s the hardest part?”
The young man was thoughtful in all his replies. (I didn’t actually ask him about the doctor smell, but I so wanted to.) The last question got me a great story, too. Here’s basically what he told me; I may have gotten some of the technicalities funky, but it’s definitely the gist. NOTE: Squeamish readers proceed with caution.
“Honestly, it can be extremely tedious. I was on a brain-bleed case not long ago. We removed a piece of the skull — well, the residents and the surgeon did. As a student, you’re not doing any of this, you’re just watching. From about seven in the morning till almost one o’clock in the afternoon, we stood there and just watched as the resident used a teeny, tiny tool to deliver a zap that cauterized bleeding blood vessels.
He’d see blood, zap it, wipe. Wait. See blood, zap, wipe. Over and over again, but there was less blood coming over those hours, so we were just standing there and watching this process. I finally had to leave, and the other students were like, ‘But they’re about to screw the skull back on!’ and I was like, ‘I’m good,’ and I went and got lunch.”
He also told me that when a piece of the actual brain is taken out and needs to be saved for later, they store it in your abdomen. Your abdomen is like a damn locker for your brain. Oh, the humanity. Oh, my.
I secretly hope they have awesome doctor parties here.