Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shine, As Children Do.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My First Cadaver Lab Experience

My professors want to produce not only doctors with skillful hands, but doctors with a sense of humanity. And respect for a cadaver on the table helps teach compassion for living patients in the office, ethics professors say.

As we entered the cadaver lab on the fourth floor of Humber College North in Etobicoke at 10:00 a.m., the highly concentrated smell of preservatives quickly overloaded our senses. Some placed their jackets or sleeves over their noses and mouths. Unsure of our body's reactions to both the sights and smells, we continued onward. Rows of stainless steel coffin-like containers, known simply as holding tanks, filled the room. On top of each container were partially dissected bodies, internal organs exposed, and one untouched body. Plastic buckets labeled "whole brains", "hearts", etc. could be seen on a shelf. Holding an actual human brain in my hands was priceless.

We gathered around the first cadaver peering down at the exposed viscera and detached sternum and rib cage. We immediately noticed the vertical column of steel wire spiraling down the sternum. This patient once had open heart surgery. Our professor stood next to the body and began to point out some of the various parts. He picked up the detached heart and quickly without hesitation promptly placed it in my hands. A little startled, I began to pull back the folds of cut muscle exposing the chambers. And so the the experience began.

And what an amazing experience it was.

Our body is such an incredible design. It's a huge honor for me to be a part of medicine, but it's even more special to be a part of homeopathic medicine. Though I may have to explain what an H.D. means from time to time (sometimes in a slightly defensive tone to the skeptics), I'm learning what it means to be an H.D. Someday soon (fingers crossed) those two letters will come after my name, and I can't wait for that day.