Monday, August 07, 2006

Electives and beyond

Uh oh. Oncology is going straight over my head. I do not get all the stuff about oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes.

However, we did have a session on communication skills and patient perspective, which was very good. A lovely lady with terminal cancer came in, and spoke candidly about her diagnosis and treatment, and most importantly the effect of cancer on her life, and how she has been treated by medical staff during her illness. I found her humour and straightforwardness (gosh, that is actually a word) amazing. I do not know if I would have the strength in me.

It also made me think again about working in palliative care. I have always been interested in working in pain management/palliative care, and working alongside alternative therapies to bring the maximum quality of life to patients. My dream is to run a centre based on treating chronic pain syndromes and terminal illness with an integrated system of medicine and alternative therapies, from massage and art therapy to Ayurvedic medicine and acupuncture, alongside a strong research facility studying the clinical efficacy of such treatment – both quantitatively and qualitatively.

I have no idea where to start with this. It’s a pipe dream; one that I am scared to go after. It’s pretty big!

We’re planning our electives at the moment, for next summer, and I had already decided I want to do something alternative medicine based. Our projects can be research or reflective, and I am determined to do a reflective project. So I must knuckle down, and find something that is going to give me experience in this area, and let me begin to see if I can make this dream a reality.


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