A guide to medical etiquette: coping with loss
- By: David McAllister
It doesn't take long to forget the basic medical knowledge you learn. Time during an intercalated degree is long enough. So too are summer holidays, special study module blocks, or time spent in medical specialties. Knowledge and understanding you once possessed seem to have left you without a trace when you are confronted with a patient or a question from a clinician. In this article I will attempt to show you ways to minimise the problem. First of all, however, we must go over the usual coping strategies before turning to practical steps that you can take.
The first reaction of the students to the loss is denial. They unwisely believe that the knowledge is lurking somewhere, and that if they can concentrate hard enough it will all come flooding back. The next step comes when that reaction turns to anger. This may be directed at themselves, their style of