Thursday Born

The everyday life of a medical student (who was born on a Thursday).

Doctors are people too, part 1 of many

with 4 comments

“Pseudoscience and Misery” is how I recently heard a second year describe Psychiatry. Another choice quote, this time from a classmate:  “What’s Afghani food? Hashish and heroin?”

Still, I have to say that for the most part, my classmates are fairly open minded and respectful people. And they are, first and foremost, people. Wanting to go into medicine does not automatically make one a saint.

It also doesn’t automatically make people more sanitary.

I’m a germaphobe, I’ll admit (since  late 2007. And no, I do not have OCD. At worst I’d have OCPD, but I don’t actually have that either). I think about these things a lot and am often picking up new habits (like putting down the toilet lid while flushing; last summer I bought one of those cleaner tablets you put in the reservoir and they had blue dye. I was rather distraught to notice lots of blue dots of water on the seat after flushing. So now, lid goes down. I guess that’s what they’re for?). I also pay attention to other people’s habits, and while my classmates are sometimes a bit cleaner than the general public, they’re still fairly normal and standard in their behavior.

So when I think about that, and I think about the high rates of hospital acquired infections, I’m not surprised. Sure they’re foaming in (ie, using the hand sanitizing foam) before they come in, but they’re using the same pen they’ve been using all over the hospital, using the same stethoscope, checking their phone, wearing the white coat that hasn’t been washed in months, etc. And we’re the cleaner generation. I’ve seen doctors who wash their hands only after each physical, not before. I’ve recently heard of doctors who don’t ever wash their hands (even after touching a hemorrhoid).

But hey, it has to start somewhere, right? The fact that my generation of doctors is having “foam in and foam out every single time!” drilled into our heads is actually a big step in the right direction. And I’ve been rather impressed with the hospital protocol for patients with any sort of infectious condition, even a minor cold. Gloves, gown, and sometimes a mask required before entering the room. I think that in daily life, my personal level of cleanliness is not always necessary (and definitely not for kids. Kids must run around and play in mud and eat dead bugs!) but when you’re dealing with patients, a higher standard really should be the norm.

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Written by Aba

March 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. you don’t have OCPD. at least not enough. and you’re just OC without the D, maybe not the C either… o.O; but just about some things. go figure. who isn’t. 🙂 just different thigns from me. I have more O than you though, and more randomized Os. hehe.

    Shanchan

    March 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    • Well, I certainly don’t actually have a disorder, but what I meant was just the difference in motives behind actual official OCD and OCPD. I see my behavior as perfectly rational and consistent with who I am.

      Aba

      March 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm

  2. Some doctors DON’T WASH THEIR HANDS?!?! Shouldn’t there be like…an online directory for things like this?!

    dorianagraye

    March 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    • Yeah… You can be sure your surgery will be sanitary, but beyond that, all bets are off. Especially if the doctor’s older. Complications by Atul Gawande is an interesting and scary read about similar sorts of things (it’s also just a great book).

      Aba

      March 15, 2010 at 8:01 pm


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