So when do you know?

In dance, there are benchmarks, you can see your self in the mirror, on video, you can tell. Or at least, other people can certainly tell. I know when I teach or audition people, I have a pretty good idea of their chances of being a dancer. I have friends who play a game when they examine (they are RAD examiners) on entry, and after the first exercise, they write down your score, put it away and see how close they were at the end of the exam.
You just Know.

But in this medicine thing, you just don’t know. Even if you consider medicine largely one of being a ‘health mechanic’, there are those mechanics who are Talented (to nick Isabelle Carmody’s habit of capitalising the word in the Obernewtyn chronicles. If you dont know what I mean, you should check it out). Who seem to be born to it, the same as a dancer is born to dance, or how any vocation seems to choose its members.
I mean you have exams which are non graded passes, and which don’t really seem to reflect the sort of doctor you may be, or if you are indeed, Talented.
We have had precious little clinical experience, no hands on sort of thing – so we have no idea on our aptitude there either.
(Though amusingly, we had a PBL tutor who told 3 of my friends that they were unsuited to medicine for entirely stupid reasons. eg, one of them, a nurse, said that she found the science difficult, to which he answered that perhaps she could consider ditching medicine and going back to nursing and getting a phd in nursing. Prick.)
Anyways, back to my ramble, how do we know that we are on the right path?
I envy those who have an unshakeable belief in medicine, it would make things simple. focussed.
I can’t help but have doubts.

I had a talk the other day to a proper graduated Dr, who is aiming for otho surgery. I mentioned that I was eyeing of plastics and reconstruction, or some other surgery. He suggested that I needed 4 or 5 good papers published, international conferences, volunteer work, preferably a Masters of Clinical Education, and 10 references to even get an interview.
However, I have no idea if plastics/reconstruction is really for me, its just a rough hunch and something this thing told me, but I have to pretty much gun for it now.
I suppose I can always gun for it, it won’t hurt to have all that for whatever specialty, but dammit its going to make the next few years hurt.

I may have overcomitted 2009 already – currently I’m going to be doing some research in microcirculation, research/development of anatomy teaching using interactive 3d, a commission with the South Australia Museum, a dance performance with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Oh and that medschool thing. I’m also on 2 committees, and probably need to rack up some more volunteer work.
it should make it an interesting year though.

Oh and this being the end of the year, i revisited that medical specialty thing as mentioned and, with my own thoughts, i thought i’d update my list. refer here for the beginning of year thoughts.

So my main ones are still
*surgery – plastics/reconstruction
interesting work, varied cases, suits my attention to detail, dexterity and aesthetics. can also work with kids.
stupendous amount of work… no life

like working with kids
fairly studendous amount of work

*GP – nice lifestyle. time to have family, make art.

which is fairly consistent. a surprise. I do quite like cardio, it is an interesting field…

anyways, i hope that soon i’ll know. Or maybe I won’t, but hopefully I can feel better about not knowing.

photo of the day: