The verdict on Internal Medicine

The end of one rotation means the start of another, with two delightful days of doing absolutely nothing in between. I’ve needed some time to recover from the past 6 weeks, as they have been pretty intens on me. First day of the new rotation, and I was burned up. Didn’t know what to do, where to stash my emotions; I was overflowing. Now I’m obliging myself to some required rest: meaning it 8pm right now and I’m bed, wonderful! I really need time to relax, and plenty of sleep. After next week there’s the Christmas holiday, and hopefully I will then completely recover, ready for another stretch of hospital..

I wanted to reflect on my first rotation here. Internal Medicine. The verdict? Not for me. I like the medical puzzle, and the complexity of it. Taking into account all organ systems. Zooming in on a problem, while looking at the whole as well. Every part of the body counts, everything influences everything. That’s what I like about it.

The profession, however, sucks. In my opinion, that is. The puzzle you bend your brain over is on paper. You will see more trees than patients. Killing trees, while saving patients (hopefully). I’d rather have the trees in the forest and go see my patient myself. What I’ve seen is a lot of administration, and just a few minutes (on the ward not more than 2 minutes per day!) with the patient. That’s not what I want. I do not want to sit behind a desk all day, with a folder and a computer, and a patient I can barely put their face to their name. No, like I said, not for me.

Of course I have only been there for five weeks. That’s nothing. But maybe enough to get an impression. I think I knew it already before I started; we have also done student clinics at the academic medical center in the past two years. I just don’t like it. I like internal medicine because it is real medicine, but I don’t like the profession. And I will not go practice it. Maybe as a GP or in tropical medicine; you’ll always need internal medicine. But I know one thing for sure: I won’t become an internist.

And that’s the verdict on my first round of rotations.


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