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Your job will be to take a history and do the appropriate physical, and getting a real sense of that, you actually, not only put your hands in the right place, but you felt what you were supposed to feel. So I'm just getting a good sense of what's going on. It's fairly stressful, actually, because you have a..course, it's a simulated event, but, I mean, he's, of course, a doctor, so he's a very knowledgeable patient.
And as soon as he said, "I'm having heart problems," my heart just sank, because, as I said, they tend to be the most difficult cases. But I think as you get better at this stuff, that becomes possible—might be able to get two or three hours of sleep, which could really make a big difference.
And I'd like to see it continue for a long time, but if doesn't, the time I've had has been really, really something. Any time you do a procedure for the first time, your adrenaline goes up, because you don't know what it's going to be like. But you have to understand all kinds of other things.
You know that you don't really know what you're doing, and so you're sort of randomly shooting the needle in. Like, from the start of this operation, he could have, from the aorta, he could have had a stroke, and he never would have worn his kilts again. This week, I work at nights and then I try, well, at least I try to sleep during the days.
And then we came in the first day and it was worse then I ever expected it could be. I mean, after reading about it, like, all night in the textbook and everything like that, when you finally get to see it—I mean, all these things are very abstract, and you're trying to figure out, well, this goes here, and this goes there, that goes the other place—and then boom, it's in front of you; you can grab it, you can feel it.
Beneath your intern you have your third year medical student who is, at best, some little monk who trembles in the wake of all of these greater powers and hopefully will muddle through and climb up the rungs himself. You don't know where you are, you don't know any of the people, you don't know the procedures. You lose touch with your own strength in a way, if you keep staying in that environment and keep questioning yourself for long enough, you begin to think, I'm the one that's ignorant here. Everyone else around me is wise and efficient and powerful and does a great job, and here I am such a lowly little speck. Right now I'm doing cardiology at New England Deaconess Hospital. It's very hard when you're young and alive and you don't know what's going to happen.
Now I'm learning, actually, what it is that's going on inside. Get this incompetent away from me." If you could take off your top and put on the johnny that you have, open in the back. I've had volcanoes of pimples erupting on my forehead and my chin, and I've not had time to do my laundry in a few weeks. And I spend six hours every day not looking for books, or walking across the street to the library, or something like that, but I spend six hours a day of actively studying, which means at this desk, at a book, or in the library at a video tape. And if I take a break to get a cup of coffee or to go to the bathroom, I click off the watch.
Being in medical school is a very, very intensive process, and you really need some time where you can just sort of put that aside and really think about other things.
In 1987, NOVA's cameras began rolling to chronicle the lives of seven young, bright medical students embarking on the longest and most rigorous endeavor in higher education: the years-long journey to become a doctor. Well, when I first got in, I kept wondering if there was a mistake, really, like somebody was going to pull me aside and go, "Didn't you get that next letter that said, 'We're sorry but the first one was a mistake?
From their first days at Harvard Medical School to the present day, none of them could have predicted what it would take, personally and professionally. '" And it was kind of strange because, even though when I interviewed here and I toured the place, I really felt at home, I still had never really pictured myself in the environment.
I was an Olympic hopeful, got knocked out of the Olympics because of an accident and an injury.