Thinking back, I can't remember why I started this site. I believe it was to keep friends updated on what my life was like in medical school, as we all dispersed across the country to start our respective careers. I'll admit in the beginning it was a pretty sophomoric affair. I cringe when I read some of the things I wrote early in the blog's life. But I believe that is partly the point of this whole silly thing.
Medicine is a very unique field. Not better than other fields, or more challenging than other fields... just unique. Likewise, the transformative process of medical training is also quite the unique experience. What originally began as a project to chronicle the foibles and struggles of medical education has become, in a way, a means for me to process the often profound and always important experiences of medical training. Hence the name: Training Grounds.
We live in an exciting time of narrative medicine. With the explosion of social media, more members of the medical community than ever have emerged to share their experiences - often humorous, often sad - in the care of the patient. I don't pretend to be anything more than a small voice in that larger narrative. But I think it is important to be a part of it. Public perception of the physician is still based on a 20 year old stereotype. To a large segment of the public, doctors still drive ferraris. Doctors place the interest of the pharmaceutical companies over their interests. Doctors live extravagant lifestyles and are desensitized to the suffering of those they care for.
Regardless of how far this stereotype is off of reality (hint: it's far), physicians as a whole have been poor advocates of themselves for quite some time. We allow this stereotype to fester and spread like a subclinical cancer when the fact is that the reason why myself and many of my medical school classmates went into medicine wasn't to get rich or live some extravagant lifestyle. We went into this field because we love caring for our patients. Their stories change us, transform us, challenge us, and educate us - making us better people and better providers of care. This is why narrative medicine, and this blog is important. And that is why I continue to write. My stories are not special or unique, merely a microcosm of the things that all of us in medical training go through. But I feel that it is important to share them. Because we all share the experience - patients, providers, colleagues, friends, and family.