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Home > List Archives

Grave Concerns

Roger Blake trauma-list@trauma.org
Wed, 19 Jun 2002 12:10:38 -0500


well said

>>> kundiris@msu.edu 06/19/02 06:45AM >>>
I think that a student's input is appropriate here. If I am wrong, I
am
sorry.

In a year, I will enter a residency program. If all goes well, it will
be a
surgical residency with a significant trauma component. As many of you
can
imagine, the decision last week has been received with some enthusiasm
by my
classmates; 'Finally,' the consensus seems to be, 'we can have a
life.'

By the end of my residency and possible fellowship, I will have been
in
school for twenty-five years. I cannot accept the opinion that medicine
is
just a job; I refuse to accept that I will be training for most of my
life
to work a set number of hours and leave my occupation at home.
Medicine
cannot be part of a doctor's life; instead, it is part of a doctor's
identity.

Everything about me is changing because of my chosen profession: the
way I
think, the way I live, even the way that I interact with other people.
The
depth of habit and thought required by medicine is such that I believe
it is
impossible to *work* as a doctor; rather, one *is* a doctor. To expect
the
former is to expect a priest to leave his faith at the pulpit every
day.

The changes declared last week are based precisely on this mistaken
premise.
Do I look forward to exhaustion during the next five years? Of course
not.
My learning and my skill are compromised by being pushed beyond my
limits.
But the chain of command and the supervision within are designed
precisely
to extend those limits without harming the patient. And while I do not
relish the thought of being worked to ennervation, I eagerly anticipate
the
day when I can be called on in difficult circumstances.

With this in mind, then, I am aggrieved to learn of the ACGME's policy
statement. My training will probably suffer for it. I will still be a
physician and a surgeon - but I will have greater doubts as to my
capabilities as such. No hours outside of the hospital can make up for
that.

Rishi Kundi
MS-4
Michigan State University.



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