Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Consultant Crushes and Medical Miracles

I'm not going to get too sentimental about all this. Just hear me out.

There are a lot of things we get wrong in medicine, a lot of things we can't treat, cure, or figure out. But today in clinic I had the opportunity to meet some children who are living (playing, giggling, bright eyed, rose-cheeked) proof that modern medicine can be amazing. Similar sort of feeling to a day I blogged about 2 years ago.

I met a child who had a catastrophic birth with many complications, but because of the swift and expert interventions provided (including total body cooling) has managed to develop with no deficits in any area (physically or cognitively). Today she is an adorable, intelligent, able bodied little bean who seriously rocks pink UGG boots.

Another child who was born with a fatal cardiac anomaly, had surgical treatment, and also is now a happy-go-lucky perfectly healthy little man. I couldn't help but send mental props to the cardiac surgeons like Lillehei* who trialed, and failed, and failed, and developed and perfected surgeries like the repair of Tetralogy of Fallot or the Norwood procedures. If those men hadn't risked their careers and their emotional fortitude 50 years ago, today these children would have died at birth or after short and difficult lives.

My awestruck gaze was only sharpened by the fact that I was working with a seriously butt-kicking-ridiculously-intelligent-biochemistry-genetics-pediatric-metabolic-disorder-expert-ball-of-awesomeness consultant who loves to teach! I hoped some of her brain power might waft over in my direction if I sat close enough to her in clinic (without being too creepy and really invading her personal space).

And so, I return to my reading and eventually the newest episode of "New Girl".  Oh and yes, I am working like mad on my CaRMS application and my new research project. I have a whole post on recent CaRMS trauma in the works...but for now...I'll just say that today was a good day. A perfectly timed reminder of why I am putting myself through all of this.

*Read "Walk on Water" by Ruhlman and "King of Hearts" by Cooley if you really want to know what I am talking about. Both fascinating and unreal stories of larger than life pediatric cardiac surgeons.


Sildnafil Citrate said...
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Just Me said...

My mum was fortunate to work with some of these docs doing TofF peds surgery in Childrens hospital in Toronto. She said that it was so amazing to see babies go home that wouldn't have the year ahead.

Its good to remember for all that we "know" in medicine, you don't have to look back far to see when we didn't. One day our "miracles" will be common place, but some of our routine treatments will be barbaric and backwards.

Allison said...

New Girl is getting me through med school. :)

Anonymous said...

Love it. Thanks for mentioning "Walk on Water" which we have not (yet) read but have now ordered from Amazon. Hopefully it finds its way to us through the hurricane wreckage ...

Albinoblackbear said...

@JM--Yes, it's true. I got a powerful sense of that reading The Emperor Of All Maladies.

@Allison--My new version of a great day is when I see my itunes downloading the latest episode.

@DFFH--Niiiiiiiice. Such a fabulous book. Mine is well dog-eared and highlighted with a sketch or two in the back of fetal circulation and the repairs done on ToF. hahah

It actually really changed my reasoning behind my future specialty choice. In fact, I am going to make a post about it. :) Thanks for the inspiration!