Thursday, April 06, 2006

The idea of study

Last year was all about practicalities.

What antimalarial drugs to I give to a pregnant woman?
What should I look for in leptospirosis?
What's the dose for this TB medication?
How do I explain how to mix up the food supplement to women who do not own measuring jugs or scales?

This year, it's all about theory. Or, that's the theory.

I'm sick of knowing enough to work. Of scrabbling for the guidelines whenever a new situation arises. Of knowing what to do, but not being really sure why.

I'm ready to feel confident in my knowledge base. To be able to work things out, given that I know about how x affects y. To know enough to base my decisions on evidence rather than what I've been told. In short, to know a good summary of what there is to know.

Unfortunately, this takes a hell of a lot of work. I'm ready to study, but I'm not ready to spend the majority of my free time in front of a textbook. I what to know what the evidence is, but I can't face the journal articles. I'm certainly not so excited about spending the next 12 months at a desk, to then potentially have to do it all over again, when, like so many excellent, knowledgable doctors, I could fail the exam.

I want to know stuff but have a life, dammit! My lifelong study technique of cramming won't cut it this time.

The question is, will I feel any different in a year?

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