Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last day of vacation

After nearly 3 months off, I'll finally be getting back to the medicine mindset with the start of intern year tomorrow (actually, it's just orientation tomorrow, the real intern year won't start for another week or so). I'm a little worried (ok, terrified might be a more accurate description). I've been calming myself down with the thought that lots of people have been through the same thing and have done fine, but with a 3-month break, I'm sure I'll be a little rusty. I suppose I took a 4-year break from medicine during graduate school and did ok when I got back into things, but med school is not the same as being an actual doctor who's orders actually get carried out. I was thinking of spending some time studying medicine, but there's little motivation to pick up a book and I figure that anything I could have learned on my own during the break would be minimal compared to the vast amount of information I'm about to get forced down my throat.

My mindset right now consists of many conflicts: I'm looking forward to actually starting work (I'm getting tired of being home all day), but at the same time, I know I won't have much of a chance for a break for a long time. I'm excited to see patients, apply my knowledge, try to help people and maybe have some fun along the way, but I'm also terrified I might make a mistake and hurt someone. I'm looking forward to meeting new people, but I'm afraid that they actually might know medicine. I'm terrified that I won't be able to handle the workload, but I'm calm because life at the community-hospital based intern year that I'll be going through won't be anything close to that of the academic-hospital based interns that I got to vicariously live through during my recent sub-I. I'm hoping for starting with something light so that I can get my bearings before getting slammed, but at the same time, I want to get the tough months over with before I get burnt out.

I figure it's no use worrying too much about it. It's not like I can change anything.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Setting up shop in a parking lot

So, after a crazy month, I officially have my MD and have moved to where I will spend my intern year. I'm excited (and scared) for it to start. Orientation is next week, I'm sure you'll hear about it.

In the meanwhile, Mrs. mxh has started her job as a pharmacist. She works one day a week at a pharmacy in a sketchy part of town and it turns out that the doctors there are more sketchy than the patients. There are a few doctors in that part of town that are notorious for prescribing large amount of narcotics, a lot of the times without even seeing the patients. The only thing that comes out of their primary care clinics is narcotics prescriptions and their patients have a suspicious pattern of getting new prescriptions too soon. What really makes it bad, though, is that one of the doctors has a habit of just hanging out at the pharmacy and writing prescriptions for narcotics in the parking lot! Yikes! This isn't something new either, it's well known among pharmacists in the area. Why do these people still have jobs? Why isn't the state medical board stripping their licenses from them? Why aren't they arrested?

Part of the problem is that not too many people report them. But, I think, a major problem is that medical boards are notorious for not punishing their own. Medical schools emphasize fitting in and keeping the status quo. If you bring up a problem, it's better that it is discussed quietly. I think this attitude carries on to medical boards. If they punish a doctor, it'll make the news and that type of attention is something that medical boards don't like. If they ignore a problem, then everything will go an as it has. So far, it's been working, but some day, the narcotic ring that these two physicians are running will make front page news and the state medical board will wish that they have dealt with it sooner.