May 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
The weather has been amazing – and we are taking full advantage of it. We’ve grilled several times now and decided that it would be more eco-friendly to buy a cheap grill than to keep buying the one-time grills. We were in the park from about 14-18 and grilled burgers, sweet potatoes, ribs, and corn. Christian joined us for the first part, but went home with a headache. Skjalg’s sister Kaja joined us later, on her way back from the gym. I brought my study materials and got in some reading. It’s hard to concentrate when it is so hot outside. Skjalg tested me on Chemistry : different bonds, radioactivity, etc.
I’m starting to get really stressed out about the exam. My aunt Aida is going to be visiting us the weekend of the exam, so I need to make sure that I am ready before that.
May 17, 2012 § 1 Comment
Today we celebrated Norway’s Independence Day. We had brunch at our place with some of our closest friends. The spread included eggs, bacon, bread with various toppings (pålegg), Norwegian waffles, and raisin and chocolate rolls (nystekte boller). It made me sad to think that this will be the last one that we celebrate in Oslo. All the more reason to make it a great last time!
May 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
I haven’t really had anything interesting to post about since the cell cake I made for Christian’s birthday. It’s been really difficult for me to motivate myself to sit down and study. I’ve been able to manage an hour or so each day, but then I think about how much more I have to do and I get overwhelmed and stop. There is also this promise of having plenty of time to catch up.
Today we traveled up to Sognsvann. The weather has been pretty nice, still a little chilly, but nice enough to sit outside for a while. I brought my notes so that I had the option of studying a little bit. We found a little spot next to the water and ate clementines.
March 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
I spent all day today reading Complications and making my brother a cake for his birthday tomorrow. He is turning 22 and in lieu of recent events, I feel it is only fitting to have a medical themed cake – so I made an animal cell! I had a lot of fun doing it, though I didn’t plan for it to take all day. Hope he likes it when we wake him up tomorrow.
I’ve been highlighting several interesting lines in Complications that I feel are worth sharing here. I am so happy that found this book. I really makes the stress of these coming years more bearable. It offers such a different view into the world of medicine than the one portrayed in TV shows and popular culture. Plus, I enjoy the clash between medical reality and ethics in society.
In surgery, as in anything else, skill and confidence are learned through experience – haltingly and humiliatingly.
In the context of the dilemma of a patients right to the best possible care versus the objective training of novices:
We want perfection without practice. Yet everyone is harmed if no one is trained for the future. So learning is hidden, behind drapes and anesthesia and the elisions of language.
Learning must be stolen, taken as kind of bodily eminent domain.
In the context of his position as an attending pushing a junior resident to put in a central line:
It is painful enough taking responsibility for one’s own failures. Being handmaiden to another’s is something else entirely.
In the section, “When Good Doctors Go Bad”:
The British psychologist James Reason argues, in his book Human Error, that our propensity for certain types of error is the price we pay for the brain’s remarkable ability to think and act intuitively – to sift quickly through the sensory information that constantly bombards us without wasting time trying to work through every situation anew. Thus systems that rely on human perfection present what Reason calls “latent errors” – errors waiting to happen.
In the context of doctors coming together to analyze error and improve performance:
Error experts, therefore, believe that it’s the process, not the individuals in it, that require closer examination and correction.
No matter what measures are taken, doctors will sometimes falter, and it isn’t reasonable to ask that we achieve perfection. What is reasonable is to ask that we never cease to aim for it.