As students have settled into their classes and are just starting to hit the books, the rest of us can sit back and relax. Right?
As any physician can attest, the learning never stops.
The hardest first day of school was my first day at medical school. We started anatomy lectures that very first day which ended in the gross anatomy lab itself. There we met the cadavers we would be dissecting as we immersed our minds in the infinite details of the human body.
We felt behind from day one, and the question that haunted every medical student was, “Will I ever know enough?”
We learned a great deal in medical school. There was no limit to the detail and depth we could study. Any detail could be clinically relevant and not only be the difference between passing and failing but life and death.
We were told that we were learning enough medical words to constitute a whole new language. No wonder normal people have difficulty understanding what their doctors are saying.
But in spite of the hours of study in libraries, in labs and on hospital wards, all that we learned in medical school was not enough to make us great doctors.
Good doctors learn from their patients. That may be one reason why we say we practice medicine. And I guess patients do have to be patient – waiting for a young doctor to practice on them until they get good at it.
Next: Who are the most dangerous doctors?