Man. That pharm exam was brutal. I came home and slept for several hours, then went to an Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases dinner, which was pretty amazing. When it comes to the medicine/surgery divide, I definitely find myself leaning toward medicine (but yeah ok, keeping an open mind for third year). I am just fascinated by the understanding of disease processes, especially how one pathogen can cause a systemic illness involving, say, kidney failure AND pulmonary involvement AND anemia AND AND AND. Once you know what’s going on, it all makes sense. As for Infectious Disease, it’s kind of awesome. It’s a very open field, in terms of career placement: academic, private practice, international, all of the above. Also our course in infectious disease is particularly well-run, so that may play into my current love for the field.
(By the way, don’t read too much into my thoughts on different branches of medicine. At this point, with little clinical exposure, they mostly stem from having had a good lecture. It’s one of those “Every month I am going to be a different kind of doc” situations.)
I am really looking forward to third year. As terrifying as it can sometimes seem, I actually find that I learn things a lot better from patients than from lectures. I’m glad we’re not a PBL-only school, because I would find it hard to extrapolate Grand Truths directly from case presentations, but what makes medicine so much more appealing than, say, grad school is that the stuff I’m learning is directly applicable to someone’s life. Which, you know, is a lot of responsibility, but it also is probably the best motivator.
And whooosh! off I go to the hospital to learn HIV and opportunistic infection! from a patient! exclamation!