Saturday, February 18, 2012


Empathy. Its something people have spoken about often enough, especially at the Hmm. So where do I exist? I was unsure, and I still am. Sometimes I connect with people, but I am still unsure if I empathize with them completely; do I feel their pain, their joys, their worries, their anxieties?

PHI and HIPPA prohibit me from sharing any information on the patients I meet and any procedures I observe, so I won't get into any details. But two cases in the past two weeks left a deep impact one me. One was someone really sick and very young girl (I call her Snow White, like sleeping beauty) who had a procedure done on her in the ICU; the other one was an old old woman (I call her San Francisco, for her fantastic stories from the city) who I met in the out-patient clinic and was completely blown away by her effervescence and beauty.

I was extremely uncomfortable with Snow White, afraid that something might just go wrong, she looked so unwell and frail. I really wanted to help, and knew that I possibly couldn't. I wonder if prayers help you connect with people (Julian, are you listening?)! I have tried this earlier as well (connecting with people through my thoughts), and have never been so sure about its efficacy. Maybe it works. Maybe.

Things were just the opposite with San Francisco, she was so full of joy and energy. I laughed when she did, smiled when she did. It was almost as if I was mirroring her expressions, without really being actually aware of it. It was fantastic to be with her, she made me happy as well.

I have been told often that women are way better than men with empathy. I wish there was a woman with me in these settings, and we could have discussed this later on. I wanted another opinion.

But I am still unsure if I empathized with them, I did connect with them both though. Sure.
Food for thought.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Clinically Immersed, need help!

How the days fly! As I get immersed into the Clinical Immersion at Stanford Hospital, my mind is buzzing with an overload of thoughts. I seem to be taking every observation as an area on intervention and thinking of solutions already. I need to hold back and spend more time analyzing...also need to spend more time discussing and building on thoughts (and not ideas!).

For most reading it, this might sounds like utter gibberish, but this is my mind talking, just random stuff. But this has been my life for the past one month. I am not a doctor (and can possibly never be one), but have been spending a lot of time at the Stanford hospital, meeting doctors, observing (never participating :)) procedures and running around trying find to eat lunches!

Jon and me in scrubs last week :)

I am also getting to fulfill the childhood fantasy of living like a doctor, at least dressing like one :) Based on where we would be spending our day, we wear formals with white lab coats (for in-patient or out-patient rounds) or surgeon's scrubs (for procedures). This picture is in fact taken inside the Biodesign lab, and my partner here is Jonathon. For now, we are together for these rounds, will swap partner with the other team later.

The post seems disjointed, and makes no sense even to me. It would get clearer as time goes by, I just needed to take this one out. I am sure more fluid thoughts shall follow.

Also on my mind is the Indian dinner treat from Siraj at Sakoon (downtown, Mountain view), morning walking, fooding and photography session at the Farmer's market (California Avenue, Palo Alto), the missed trip to the Science Museum today morning and the fabulous pastries and quiche waiting for consumption right in front of me.
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