Throughout much of my third year of med school, I felt like I was a spectator. I was there to learn, but mostly as an observer. In many of my rotations, we would present and write notes, however it seemed like more of a formality and an exercise, rather than a duty. That all changed midway through the year, when I was on my neurology rotation and I presented a consult to my preceptor. He came up with an assessment and plan, and as he was reviewing the hospitalist’s H&P during his dictation, he picked up on an admission blood pressure that I had missed in my chart review/presentation. He stopped and said, “Oh, this is important. You should have told me this. Now I have to change everything.” Although I was embarrassed, I was also empowered. That was the first time in my medical career that I felt like my opinion really mattered.
Watching the Lewis Blackman video brought back this memory. Although I am not a resident yet, for much of the year I was that intern/junior resident who went through the motions of morning rounds, without truly accepting (or rather understanding) responsibility for their implications. It was a reminder that as a med student, I am still capable of being a valuable member of the team, and should take that role seriously. While my opinion or question may not matter most days, it may matter when it means the most.