I've lost that lovin' feelin'...

(Cue Anthony Edwards: "I hate it when he does that!")

For about the umpteenth time this year, I've lost that lovin' feelin' that I had when I was a pre-med, came again for about the first 3 weeks of medical school, and then again for the first few weeks of this year after my fun EM internship. Whenever I walk over to the library, I feel the life being drained out of me. Whenever I look at Robbins, I'm told I get what has been described as "a really pathetic look" on my face.

So I am pondering:

Why is it that the entire medical education process is built around separating us from the things and people that we care about and totally immersing ourselves in the material? I spent 22 years of my life focused on becoming a well-rounded individual with interests outside of medicine, with relationships beyond the walls of my educational institution, with emotions, creative energy, compassion and a decent credit rating. Hell, I even ran a half marathon at one point at sub-8 minute mile pace.

But all of that is gone now, at age 24. I gave myself away the second I put on that short white coat and signed away my first master promissory note. I can rattle off obscure medical facts with out blinking, but I can't have a normal conversation with friends from high school. I can talk to a schizophrenic and elicit the history of his life, but I can barely hold a 10 minute phone conversation with my mom or my girlfriend without long silences. I know the intricate workings of the human body and mind, but I'm losing touch with my own soul.

I suppose that if this was the former USSR circa-1965 and my parents and local government officials had determined that I would be a physician from the age of 3 because I was good at the knock off Soviet version of Operation, this total dedication of my life's energy to Mother Medicine would be a bit more palatable. But, I guess that physicians are made and not born... and hundreds of thousands have gone through this training process and come out alive and with their minds somewhat in tact.

5 days...until freedom, sleep and feeling like myself again.

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