Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Posting About Composting

Over the past month, I have, on more than one occasion, shed optimistic light on my rather unfortunate plight by describing the hospital as my "cocoon", protecting me during my metamorphosis from caterpillar med student, swollen with knowledge stuffed into my head over the past two years, to physician, graceful as a butterfly in my clinical skills.

Well, forget that metaphor. It's way too glamorous. And it has much too close of a connotation to blissfully secluded sleep to do any justice to the kind of craziness that is actually my daily existence. A more apt description of what I'm going through, I realized tonight, is...compost.

Yes, compost. I go to the hospital, and my residents and interns throw me scraps of medical wisdom, my patients tell me the scraps of the stories they've already told to at least 3 people before I get to attending corrects me or gives me a well-intended but poorly-executed look that says 'you idiot'....and on a daily basis, I feel like, well, garbage. There isn't any time to sift through my reactions or emotions, or figure out what it all means--day after day, the work and experiences just get piled on, layer over layer. On the surface, I still feel like a doofus. But on rare occasions, when I have a moment to stop, and reflect, and dig down to those deeper layers to give them some air; that's when I suddenly encounter the rich humus that has become transformed by the remnants thrown to my psyche.


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