When you’re in medical school, people outside of school think that you’re some kind of expert. On the one hand, it’s flattering that people think that I have this extensive knowledge about the human body and all of its intricacies (to an extent I do), but I’m by no means an expert! Family and friends start asking for advice about things that I have no expertise in. For instance, my sister pointed at this lesion on her neck and asked “What do you think this is?” And honestly, I had no idea. It looked like a bug bite to me. But it also struck me that I didn’t really know what bug bites present as! I politely dodged giving a concrete answer.
I wonder if this happens to physicians–especially ones that are super specialized. If you’re some kind of neurologist and a family member asks you about some derm problem, are you really going to know what’s going on? At this point in time, I don’t think I would! Part of me would feel inadequate because I didn’t know the answer, but part of me would probably feel a twinge of annoyance. It’s not my field! How and why should I know?
When we become professionals we often become so knowledgeable about a certain subject that we lose our drive to learn other things. While this is understandable to an extent, I really hope that whatever field of medicine I choose to go into gives me the opportunity to learn other things!