I spend my Pseudo last day on Psych in-patient today. (my Dr. is off tomorrow so it was my last day with him and my next to last day on the unit). I have enjoyed this rotation so much more than I anticipated. I enjoy the work. I enjoy seeing patients and knowing them in a more in depth way than other medical rotations.
I feel like most people go into medicine because they want to spend their life in service to others making other people's lives better. Sometimes I think in other aspects of medicine it is easy to appear (to the patient or the outside world) like we, practitioners, spend our life interpreting lab values, prescribing expensive medication, running tests, bearing bad news. But in Psychiatry you get to know someone. You get to feel with them the darkest moments of their life, things they try to keep secret from everyone else. You go with the patient on a journey (sometimes extremely painful) toward wellness. You sit in the pain. And then you work to move the patient through it. It is amazingly gratifying to see the whole process. For the first time in my medical career I really feel like a healer. I feel like a listener, I feel like I go to work everyday and see people on the worse days of their lives and help them get better.
I see myself in almost all of my patients. A woman came in after a suicide attempt and she was an upper middle class lady who immediately regretted her decision to seek help. She felt she did not really want to hurt herself therefore she did not need psychiatric treatment. But when she started talking about her sleeplessness, lack of energy, and her lack of appetite that were crippling her, she was moved to tears and decided she really did want help.
I also was able to witness the course of a man who was catatonic, unable to move at times due to his bipolar disorder, and through his ECT treatments became mobile, resumed grooming himself, even laughed with me today while talking about his grandchildren. It is a beautiful thing.
Treating people's UTI's, and telling a kid's mom that his behavior is normal four year old behavior is nice but bringing someone out of such a dark place is powerful.
I feel truly blessed to have had this opportunity to be at the wonderful hospital that I am at working with the amazing team of doctors and nurses that I worked with. I will never forget my time there.