I’m trying to figure out what kind of volunteer work and shadowing I want to do while I’m here at school. Right now that’s involving a little bit of emailing and a lot of contemplating because the prospect of adding anything on top of my school work is a bit intimidating. Thus I’m engaging in the age old tradition of the “think system,” as defined by “Professor” Harold Hill* and hoping that the time and energy to engage in some enlightening medical work will magically appear before me.

Before moving to start school, I spent a little time volunteering at a trauma center. I worked with the radiology techs; mainly following them around with their portable x-ray machine and attempting to keep track of the slides they used to record images. I was probably about as useful as an extra foot, but I was able to see a lot of different aspects of hospital work right up close.

There were so many things about working in a hospital that I wanted to write about; the smells, the machines, the strange hierarchy that was made all the more complex in a teaching hospital. Right now, though, it all feels hidden behind an impenetrable wall of stoichiomoetry equations and thermodynamics. As important as chemistry is to understanding how our bodies work, it’s a little hard to see the direct applications of an acid base titration to my future as a doctor.

So on the one hand I’m dreading having to be somewhere every week that isn’t a classroom or a library, but on the other hand I’m incredibly eager to do something, anything, that will tie this whole thing back to medicine.

With that in mind I’m going to go read about gas laws for our lab tomorrow. And continue thinking about how I’m going to call my connection to Planned Parenthood about volunteering there.

*From the musical The Music Man. And if you had to refer to this endnote to recognize that, you now know what you’re renting from Netflix this week.

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