I’m Not a Doctor

It’s funny how as soon as I tell someone I am in medical school, their first reaction is to ask me about their medical issues.  I went home this past weekend, and in less than twenty-four hours I looked at three family members mysterious bumps, tried to perform osteopathic manipulation on my brother’s neck, and attempted to field questions about my aunt’s recent heart burn troubles.  The last time I went home my grandmother insisted on showing me a skin lesion on her cheek.  Just this morning, I tried to help a friend figure out what was causing her sister’s rash.

I’m not a doctor.  Yes, I probably know more than an average person does about health-related issues, but the best thing I will be able to do for you is tell you to go and see a REAL doctor.  That is really the only answer I can give.

It always make me feel a little bit like a fake.  As soon as I say, “I dunno…have a doctor look at it,” I feel like they are instantly suspicious of me.  Aren’t you in medical school?  What are they teaching you?

It just feels like I have so little to show for nine months of medical education.  I study all day everyday, but I have no idea what could cause heart burn…  Umm…myasthenia gravis?  Atherosclerosis?  Lupus?  Is it Lupus?!

About a month after school started I had a super long Facebook message from a college friend of mine with a long, detailed list of his ailments and what he thought might be causing them.  He wanted to know my opinion.  I said, “I think you might have diabetes…possibly AIDS.”

I guess I should just be honored that people can already see me as someone they would trust with their personal medical information.  But really, people…go see a doctor.

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About emilyehoward

My name is Emily, and I am a first year Internal Medicine Resident in Phoenix, Arizona. I live with my husband Nicholas and my daughter Anika. And I hope you enjoy my blog!
This entry was posted in Doctor, Health Care, Medical Student, Medicine, Osteopathy, Physician and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to I’m Not a Doctor

  1. doctorlaura says:

    Even when I was in pre-med, people were always telling me about their sicknesses. And I agree, although flattering, I really can do nothing ……. because I’m not a doctor!

  2. Mom says:

    Nothing like a weekend at home to give you some blog topics! And – any idea about why my big toe is . . . oh never mind.

  3. Karen says:

    Love it!

  4. mochabeanie says:

    you can’t and will never escape this! I have this set of non med student friends, everythings going fantastic until I get questions about flu and request for second opinion.

  5. similar funny experience! while it’s flattering to be asked for medical advice, only we know better than anyone that medicine knowledge isn’t complete without getting clinical exposure and practice..

  6. nimmie3120 says:

    Today I was asked about umbilical cords. About why the doctors cut them off and then they grow again when you have a second child. “Why do they cut them off?” she said, “I need the cord for my next baby, right? Where does the second cord come from?” Very interesting questions that people ask, haha.

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