An attending told us today in our first psych lecture, “Medicine is not about stamping out disease, it’s about helping people.”
Boy have the days of medical school applications passed.
No longer do I try to figure out how to rephrase “I want to help people,” and fit it into a 500-word essay. But along with it went the whole initial notion of medicine–that is, a profession built on helping people, improving lives, easing suffering. Now for me it’s about turning a patient’s story, signs, and symptoms into a diagnosis, and then figuring out what to do for that diagnosis. Sure, often the goals overlap–but in the end, I’m not out to relieve suffering, I’m out to cure disease.
I expect (or hope?) that this will come back to me once I get the whole “diagnosing and treating” thing down pat–hell, a large part of the reason I write this blog is to remind me and others of the important stuff, because it’s just so damn easy to forget.