Last Thursday was my first day volunteering at Ben Taub General Hospital. I volunteer in the Emergency Center, where aside from transporting specimen samples between the EC, the lab, and blood bank. In general, this is a very trivial and minor role – I wish I had the training and expertise to play a more vital role in helping these people and minimize suffering. But I really enjoying working here, because I come into intimate contact with the environment where I hope to spend a vast portion of my life.
Sitting there between errands, I get to talk to some of the most amazing, interesting, and exciting people in the world. Talking with the nurses, residents, and doctors, I reaffirm my passion for medicine. Without going into details, these people are amazingly compassionate, superbly efficient, and greatly burdened. Burdened by pressure and risks of modern medicine, the modern doctor laments the distance between patients and doctors. Shrinking patient facetime and increasing liability, there’s a widening gap between patient and care. Yet, on the other hand, modern medicine necessitates caution before getting too close. HIV, Hep A, B, and C, and other fears increase the difficulty of procedures that require a solid hand, steady pressure, and close contact.
But still, medicine is amazing. It is the application of science, discovery, and all things basic to aid and augment the human condition. There is no worth in the ivory tower. To me, the measure of science and technology is its ability to help save lives.