Alison S. Clay, MD
Requests for Reprints: Alison S. Clay, MD, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, West Building M200, 1001 West 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clay AS. The Medical Student as Patient. Ann Intern Med. 1999;131:225-226. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-131-3-199908030-00012
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;131(3):225-226.
It is the first day of my surgery clerkship; my assignment, the head and neck oncology clinic. As I anxiously wait to present my first patient, the airway emergency beeper sounds. A frantic race to the wards ensues. By the time we reach the patient in crisis, my heart is beating furiously in sympathetic overdrive, and my shortness of breath blossoms into an exercise-induced asthma attack.
The nurses' attention turns to me. Their concern is uncomfortable. I should know how to take care of myself. Yet I am in denial. I chuckle, trying to dismiss my symptoms. I contemplate leaving. I do not want to shift the physicians' focus from the emergency to me. I worry that my team will think I am weak. I have heard residents' disparaging comments about colleagues who have called in sick. I know that the students rewarded with honors evaluations are those who work the longest hours, those who show the most interest by being present for and prepared to discuss the mos cases.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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