It’s hard for many who know me to believe – and it is even hard for me to believe – but from a very early age, I loved the brain.
Looking at my professional path, one can see that everything I’ve done has been related to the brain (with a few side trips, of course). I tell most people now that my change from neurosurgery that ultimately landed me in psychopharmacology was a result of personal maturation. After all, I once believed that most medical problems had mechanical, or near mechanical solutions.
I once believed that a hematoma drained, using squishy squeegie apparatus, just like my mother of blessed memory would have used to baste the Thanksgiving turkey.
The truth of the matter is that I had become convinced slowly that a brain, once touched or handled, changed in immeasurable ways. My own dexterity seemed piteously inferior to the task of brain manipulation. It was not fear — at least I do not think it was. It was more a sort of reverence for the complexity of that which I struggled to lay my hands upon – literally to manipulate. Read more on Messing Around With The Brain Is Serious Business…
She was a young female staffer in her first professional position. What she may have lacked in experience, she made up for with a lot of heart and she extended her maximum effort for every single patient.
I had been like that in the beginning, too. At first, you have no body of knowledge to draw upon, but you quickly learn every time a new patient comes in. With experience, you see it becomes clear patients are more alike than different, and the work is at least a little less onerous.
But our newbie had a very few months experience with this intense clinical situation. So every single patient was new and scary, and she gave her all. One week before she had dealt with one of the most difficult situations.