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Feb 26, 2008


Because there are some caring pathologists and pharmacologists in the world, we have a built in break from the six month marathon that is Path and Pharm. It comes in a little hiatus from the norm called "Psychiatry". We have nine days of Psych built in to the schedule and then spring break.

And thank God for it, too. I am ready to throw that damn Robbins Path textbook that everyone drools all over into the depths of the Pacific and laugh as it is ingested by sharks.

*cough* Sorry about that.

Anyway, we had our first set of Psych lectures this morning. A little dry and lacking on the visual stimulation, but overall pretty interesting. We didn't talk about any specific disorders today, instead the symptoms that are unique to psych, the DSM IV (another beloved text - grr), and some general treatment strategies (like Pavlov's learning theories. I love dogs, too!).

It is refreshing to go from such hardcore and relentless SCIENCE where all of the lecturers are experts on the topic and there is so much to know and on and on... to this morning, where everything was kinda general and really laid back. There were some definitions, but nothing was really set in stone (except for the undisputed greatness of the DSM IV - but even that might change!) and there was just a different atmosphere. Some of the lecturers even make jokes. Jokes! As if to imply that this topic is not the end all and be all of medicine and life and the universe and everything! (By the way, that's 42.)

I had written off psychiatry as a possible career option. According to my father, I'm too much of a "Do-er" to be in a position to let someone else talk all day and me just sit back and be passive. But I don't know - these guys were cool, funny, and, best of all, didn't take themselves so seriously.

So, in the words of Dr. Fraiser Crane, I'm listening.

2 Readers rock!:

The Shrink said...

Yeah, we're not wholly all bad, all the time ;-)

As a student (until I qualified) I really, really hated psychiatry. It was only when I worked in it as a doctor that I loved it. There's something about being able to be a do-er, being able to crack on and sort stuff out, that's very different as a doctors vs as a student.

I also like the fact that I can be very medical. Having been referred folk from physicians in the first 2 months of 2008 I've found 2 to have diabetes, 1 to have a cavitating chest lesion (got to be neoplastic, not got a tissue diagnosis yet), 1 myelodysplasia, 1 normal pressure hydrocephalus going to neurosurgery, 1 breast cancer (with local nodal involvement) and 1 with metastatic brain cancer (primary site unknown).

Physicians referred all these patients to me with mental health problems, wholly unaware their symptoms were through serious pathology. I like being a medic and finding stuff to sort :-)

I love the variety and scope of work (unlike say an orthopaedic surgeon fixing hips who just gets to do the same thing with his meccano day in day out).

More than most areas of medicine, we get to treat patients as a whole, addressing biological/medical, psychological and social issues rather than being symptom or system focussed.
Some people hate that but it suits me nicely :-)

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

"I am ready to throw that damn Robbins Path textbook that everyone drools all over into the depths of the Pacific and laugh as it is ingested by sharks."

Aahahahahaha :) :) Hope you're continuing to enjoy psych!