My Oath

My first week of orientation to hospital ended. It was a long week let me tell you. Full of as many ups and downs as I can remember every year being. And more joyous times with people. 

I found that I can be extremely introverted when I’m not comfortable with the people I am around. But because now I’m an adult, I need to suck it up and do my job. Why must I be the only person who can’t be fake nice to their co-workers? It’s an important skill. 

Anyway it got me thinking. At my graduation, I took the medical oath. It was a lot of generic stuff about caring for patients and making sure I make good decisions, etc. 

But I need to take an oath of my own. Something relevant to me. Something I must strive to follow no matter what happens this first year of my being a doctor. And so I will write it on here so I may revisit it to make sure I’m keeping to my oath.

I promise to work hard and give my best without expecting rewards

I promise to hold myself high and trust that I am capable of doing what needs to be done.

I will not let anyone intimidate me into doubting my abilities or knowledge.

I promise to be self aware of my strengths and weaknesses and work on them accordingly. 

I will always take full responsibility for my actions and decisions. I will never blame anyone else for my choices.

I promise to realise when I need help and make sure I seek the right help.

I promise to remember that nothing and no one is worth stressing about, to the point where my mental health and happiness is affected.

I promise to remember that I am here because medicine is my passion and I am good enough to be here.

I will also remember that I have other interests and talents outside of medicine that I must strive to maintain those interests.

I promise to always think of the bigger picture. Not just parts of it. It includes everyone and all their perspectives. 

I promise to uphold my dignity and the dignity of patients and people I deal with.

I will ensure I remain happy. 

And I will strive to ensure my reputation is one I create. 



Here’s to being a functioning doctor and adult in my first year and beyond.

Don’t Smile Please

So the other day a family friend said to me “You really don’t look like a doctor. You look too small”

Before I could get angry, he proceeded to say “you know what you have to do? You gotta have attitude. You shouldn’t smile. If you smile or laugh, people won’t take you seriously”

I stared at him for 5 seconds. 

What in the heck?

This is actually a popular idea I’ve heard. But I’ve never heard it being said so blatantly. 

For some reason, people think that in order to seem put together, you gotta be serious all the time. You gotta have the attitude of a professional. You gotta have that command. And that command, comes with a serious face.

I think it’s the whole, in order to be experienced, life needs to have made you cold and hard. 

And I don’t really get that. Just how much value is attached to this kind of thing? I mean realistically it’s only a first impression kind of concept. Like when you walk into a room and greet someone with that attitude, they’re meant to be like woah. But after that nobody wants someone around who’s constantly serious, right?

And more importantly, how well you work should be ultimately what people should respect about you, right?

I mean that’s my thinking. 

Of course I could be analysing this all incorrectly. It could just be me who looks like I’m too small and needs to be more serious.

But to be honest, life is serious enough. I just try my hardest not to let that show on my face. 

Frankly, I don’t care very much about how others view me. But as I’ve mentioned I’m not cut out for the workforce. And this may in fact be a legitimate thing I should be concerned about maybe…

Oh well. I don’t know. I’ll find out next year whether people will take me seriously as a doctor or not.

How Old Are You

Well. It looks like the Earth has nearly made another rotation around the sun 23 years since I was born.

People keep asking me how old I’m turning this year. Which is fine except it always takes me a few seconds to answer them. I just don’t keep track.

Or maybe because I don’t feel like I’m 23. Obviously because Taylor Swift doesn’t have a song for 23 and so I’d much rather be 22.

Nah. It’s just. Same thing as last year I suppose. The pressure is on to have achieved a lot by this point in life. I’m still in Med school. Woop. People in my class are getting married, having kids, owning houses even.

I say Blech to all of that.

I can barely own my emotions. I can’t stand the company of people for more than a few of hours, and kids frighten me.

I just don’t think I’m mature.

Although now I think I’m not really expected to be. I kind of have one of those “plan” things for the next 2 years in terms of where I should work, etc. That, to me is a BIG achievement. But I am aware every plan is subject to change. I mean, I’m not so naïve as to think everything will work out how I want it to.

Ah. How mature of me.

I’m just a bit tired of life to be honest. I mentioned that it’s really hard to be in your 20s. I’m feeling it a lot these days. How I wish I could quit life and go live on Mars or something. I just cannot be bothered facing the day every day, waiting for something to happen, but it doesn’t. Watching friends move on to bigger and better things and accepting that I’ll see less and less of them soon, dealing with people who are these so called “colleagues” who have a whole different set of rules as to how to deal with them. Like no they’re not your friends. No, they don’t care about how your day is going. They just want you to do whatever it is they need, and they’ll say everything you want to hear to make that happen because they’re sizing you up too.

Blechhh

I’m just not cut out for the fakeness the workforce demands. That’s another big reason I don’t feel old enough to be a 23 year old.

I gotta have thick skin right? Gotta be used to how the world works and not let it affect me. But I just don’t think I can.

Anger is a big poison for me. I get angry at people quite easily. Angry at how they talk to each other and treat each other. Angry when they care so little about things like doing their job right. Angry when they’re so obviously fake.

And the worst part is, I see those opportunists around me who are all those things I mentioned above, but they know how to play the game and they put themselves ahead. Meanwhile, I get angry and probably get left behind. You gotta be that kind of person to get ahead apparently.

Err. This is probably something I’ll get over when I’m 30 right? 40? 65?

Oh God I do not want to have to deal with people for that long.

I bet I sound like a cynical 50 year old right now. Saying I hate people and wanting to live somewhere on my own. But it’s not all bad. Truly there are some awesome people in the world and life has some great aspects.

I’m just in a not so great stage of it I think.

As Ed Sheeran says: I’m well aware of certain things that will destroy a man like me. But with that said, give me one more.

Really liking that song.

Oh birthday plans! Didn’t talk about those! Probably because I don’t have any. I’m in another continent from the people I usually hang out with for my birthday. This year I’ll be at the rural hospital on my birthday, seeing patients. And then maybe I’ll get some cake or something. Or I’ll reward myself with a lot of sleep.

Living the wild life, Abracadabra

 

Selling Yourself

Another thing I have to do as a new adult, is something I dread immensely.

Writing a CV

Curriculum Vitae are the two least favorite words in my vocabulary.

Well, actually Drama Queen is. But anyway that’s not important.

I have to work on my CV to get a job in a hospital next year. I think I already mentioned this process before. But basically I have to put together a CV for the people that match medical students to hospitals in their first year post graduation. It helps that I’m pretty much guaranteed a job and all that, but wanting to be put in a hospital of your preference, apparently requires a pristine application tailored to that hospital’s needs.

And that scares me a little bit.

Okay not entirely because I haven’t quite decided on my preferred hospital yet. But the rest is true.

One major problem? I stink at selling myself.

The first part of any CV is the personal statement. Thus far, I have written “I am a..” before I had a panic attack and decided to do it later.

I hate this idea. What am I supposed to say? I am an extremely talented, determined student destined to be a fantastic doctor?

Oh God I can barely type that on here. It’s just not believable.

And that may seem dumb. Because come on just get over it and write something overly cheesy and talk yourself up! That’s how you win jobs.

And I completely understand that. But I just can’t seem to do it. I don’t have a lot to say about myself. I mean yeah I’m not bad. But that I don’t think that’s exactly what they’re looking for.

The other major problem is the part of the CV called awards and achievements. Oh God. I’m drawing a huge blank.

It’s ironic how a document that is supposed to talk you up and be full of your strengths can make you want to kill yourself.

I have next to no achievements. I am surrounded by people who have won awards in med school, have several notable achievements in school and current achievements in academia. Ie Research.

My last legitimate award was 10th grade French. Where I was top of the year. Not exactly something that says “hire me! I’m going to be an amazing doctor!”

Blech.

I have my research paper I published though. Just the one. I bet compared to some of the others in my class, that’s pretty average.

I just don’t like this exercise. And I suppose that’s another reminder of my underlying immaturity and reluctance to fit into being an adult.

Because now I’m filled with all this regret. Why didn’t I do more research papers in med school? Why wasn’t I more proactive in studying and attempting to win awards? Why didn’t I realise early enough and prepare accordingly?

And those are not fun questions to ask oneself. It makes you feel like you haven’t achieved enough compared to others.

But there’s nothing I can do about it now. I mean I regret not doing more things, but if I think about it, when I’m 60+ and have finished caring about my career and have muddled through being a doctor etc., what I’m really going to regret is not giving myself a break from things. Regretting not enjoying my summer holidays and doing research instead. Or staying home to study 20 hours a day instead of being around friends etc. When in fact, I’ll still have the chance to do all those things as part of my career. Doing them early wasn’t really going to put me ahead by much.

Well. This is what I’m telling myself as I work through my panic attack at writing a personal statement. I hope it’s true. I hope I don’t end up jobless and far behind everyone else who had 3 awards and 5 papers already.

Errr.. If only I could ramble on like this on my personal statement.

 

The 20s

Sometimes I think that being in your 20s is a very frustrating time in life. I mean, I have no frame of reference, but I just think it’s hard to be in your 20s.

When you’re 20 whatever, it’s a rather crucial point in life. You either have a lot of ideas of things you wanna do and places you wanna go but are frustrated because you can’t just get all those things done straight away. It takes time, money and freedom. Which very few people have if they’re still in uni or just starting out in a job they know isn’t where they want to ultimately end up.

Or you don’t have any sense of direction and no real plans because you’re sort of stuck in a position with multiple factors in limbo and are equally frustrated.

I mean. Career, future, friends, family, relationships, etc etc etc. It all starts now-ish.

And nothing makes it worse like when relatives or family friends ask you what your “plans” are.

I hate that question. Not because I don’t have any plans, but more because it’s annoying that they think I’m going to sit there and explain each bullet point of my 10 year plan that I have taped to the wall of my room or something. I don’t have anything like that by the way. But I don’t know why people think I do.

The expectations are high and things are changing rapidly. I remember less and less of my school days. The people especially. Some are gone. I have no idea where. Some are in the same situation as me, some are living large by travelling, etc. Some have turned into wild people (If you know what I mean). But we’re all the same age basically.

Oh God and some people are getting married. Which I suppose doesn’t mean much. Like I’m not going to over hype marriage like it is an achievement. If you found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with (hopefully), that’s great for you!  But that’s another expectation when you’re in your 20s. Start thinking about “settling down” (whatever that means). I think that’s an awful expectation. Like it is hard enough to work with some people in a professional sense let alone like them enough to talk to them outside of professional arena. I mean, if that’s how it is in a professional sense, how on earth are you meant to find someone likeable in general? I assume this is why we have things like Tinder these days. Like I literally have 4 people whose company I enjoy. Of course that might just be me. Because I hear that quite a few people my age are engaged, planning their weddings, deciding honeymoon locations and where they should work next year so that it best works with their wedding plans.

How weird is that? Well maybe it’s not weird. Maybe it’s normal. I wouldn’t know.

And that’s another thing when you’re in your 20s. You’re just starting to work. And everything that goes with that is a big shock. Working with others, the hours, the demands, etc. It’s all overwhelming. But also, you start to learn a whole bunch of things like learning when to say what, who to say it to, how to carry yourself, and you feel like you can do a lot, but you just can’t.

Where am I? I am frustrated. I sort of have ideas of things I would like to do. But no way of executing them any time soon. I’m still in uni. I have a huge student loan piling up. I have my parents to look after. My dad had started working when he was younger than me. He still is. I’d like to get him to retire. I would like to move. But little idea or potential of that with all the other plans. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too idle. Maybe I should take on extra things. Sometimes I envy those people who have done all of it and have their lives sorted in their 20s. Eughhhhhhh.

What am I doing everyday? the things that need to be done. Waking up, going to work, studying, watching videos, talking, and stressing. I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen. But of course it won’t for a while.

How am I supposed to deal with this frustration? I wish I could fast forward this messy part of my life. And skip to the part where things fall into place and everything will hopefully be okay.

Yeah. And I also want Santa Claus to be real.

Wishful thinking is not a good idea apparently. I’m basically doing each day as it comes. But meh. There’s always the underlying frustration of being stuck. It’s probably not eternal. But it is worrying how much might be different when I come out of it.

This isn’t to say I’m miserable. There are a lot of great things happening for me which I am always grateful for. But yeah. This is a weird time period for me. I guess I’m dealing with it by writing on here. 

Kinda helps. 

 

On Gen Med I..

Wake up tired

Get to hospital way too early and tired

Go on 3 hour ward rounds getting progressively tired

Answer questions through the scrambled fog of tiredness in my brain and feel kinda good

Eat way too late and thus feel hungry and tired

Trudge up and down 5 floors of stairs to do ward jobs while still tired

Get home way too late to be motivated to study and do the things that need doing despite the tiredness

Fall asleep far too early 

And repeat.

Sighhhh. 

Accountability 

“I mean, I was just doing my job. I was getting paid. I didn’t do it to offend her or take her out. She had made a mistake.”

“Yeah I think people just have trouble with being held accountable for things. Like if you call them out on something they just jump on the defence and say you’re personalizing it. They just cant handle that responsibility.”

Politics……..Zzzzz

One of the things that comes with being an adult is pretending to care about politics. No no. You HAVE to care about politics. Why? Because everyone else is going out of their way to make sure you do.

So. The NZ general election is coming up. Over the last 9 years, we’ve had the same ruling party making up the government. That being National. The opposition has always been Labour. Apparently one of them is left wing and the other is right (I forget to care about remembering which is which). They are the two main competitors. Then there are all these random small parties that everyone knows will have no say at all, but people end up voting for anyway. Some do so because they want to waste their vote because they couldn’t care less, while others are very gung-ho about their actual policies.. apparently.

I’ve only earned the right to vote since the last election. Up until then, I, like every other kid out there would consider politics to be just a lot of boring noise that adults make at parties that I would somehow go talk to about my friends as though I came up with an opinion all on my own. Let’s face it.

But since gaining the right to vote, I’ve found just how ridiculous people can be when it comes to politics.

Now. I don’t mean this in an offensive way. All these people are my friends and they truly have strong beliefs and I respect that immensely. But what I don’t respect, is their attempt to force these beliefs on others.

Literally all I heard in my first year of med school was how the current government and our prime minister at the time had failed the entire country and we’re all suffering immensely and we’re all going to die because of the apocalypse that the government started. (Obviously kidding, but they were saying a lot to that effect). It surprised me just how ferocious people could get about this. There were posts upon posts on FaceBook about how everyone should vote for The Green Party (which is supposed to be both an environmental and cannabis friendly party that really cares about the youth. Well this is what people try to convince me of).

What was worse was that each person somehow assumed that every other person was voting for the same party.  I am not kidding. A friend of mine openly asked me who I was voting for. I don’t usually like discussing this, but I told her anyway. She then replied in a horrified tone that she thought I was a supporter of her own party. I asked her why, and she said “Idk I just thought you were that person. Who supports ______”

What the heck.

How? I mean….How?

Other people just add me to their conversations assuming that I’m voting for their parties. “I mean, we’re all voting for Green cuz we care about NZ, but like can you believe how unreasonable National is being??” Without so much as asking me whether I had an opinion.

Though I must say, the easiest conversations to have with people are about politics. It’s easy because all I do in these situations is smile and agree with whatever they’re saying. I mean hey, they’ve already assumed I’m a supporter. Why bother arguing otherwise with someone who is such a strong believer that they rely on transference to gain party votes?

Like I just don’t get it. Why openly hate any one party? Are people actually naive enough to believe that a Single party can fix the entire country and make everyone absolutely happy? It’s as though history has taught us nothing. There’s no way ANY party is going to bring every singly policy they had promised to a letter.

Surely it’s just about the bigger issues. Why do people take these things so personally? And I mean they take it personally because when I ask people about their partys’ policies, they usually just end up going on about how lovely the party candidate is. Or how good a speaker they are compared to that useless prime minister. Eugh. I’m just getting a bit tired of hearing about people’s ferocious opinions.

Regardless of who gets elected, there will always be a group of people negatively affected and who are going to complain. At the same time, regardless of who gets elected, people are not going to wither away and die. Yes the government is important, but it’s still just made of people.

This is just my opinion though. Again, I’m not saying it’s not important to have your own views and beliefs and vote, because of course it is. I have mine. I went out of my way to make sure I was well informed about policies, etc. But I just wish people would be more aware that there are other views out there before posting on FaceBook about who they have voted for, and who YOU SHOULD vote for if you give a damn about your country at all and are not selfish and stuck up like the current government is.

Because that’s no longer support. That’s propaganda.

I want to make a move to make it socially unacceptable to discuss your political ‘opinions’.

But anyway. That’s my political rant. I usually wouldn’t care so much. But some people have been unnecessarily pushy this election and I cannot wait until it’s over. I’ve become indifferent to who is even going to win. I’m just tired of my news feed being filled with people trashing others.

Where is the love? (As the black-eyed peas would say)