March 31, 2017

What I've been reading

I've been working my way through Americanah by Adichie. We had a rough start, but I'm beginning to really enjoy it.

Also on Adichie, I read her New Yorker article back in Dec 2016 on the post-Trump atmosphere. She pins down our ambiguous feelings so well; I admire her decisiveness.

One more thing on Adichie - this NYTimes interview back in Nov 2016 on the overlap between beauty, makeup, and feminism.

Speaking of makeup and feminism, Emma Watson's Top Shelf interview on her beauty routine reminded me that I should be making more socially conscious choices of make up brands (just, my wallet, it cries).

I've also been reading A Slice of Life - a food writing anthology published 2003. I'm stuck on page 33 in the middle of a WASP-y guilt slog of dinner as performance. Looking forward to the MFK Fisher essay after it (which I've already read before, but I love her writing too much not to reread).

This Racked article on fake news building up a very real reputation - huh, doesn't that sound familiar - specifically the myth of a law stating men can divorce their wives if he's tricked into marriage via witchcraft (AKA that burnt twig she used for eyeliner). Damn did I trick my husband into marrying me then.

On life, I discovered a blog called Reading My Tea Leaves that renewed my motivation to live a simpler, more sustainable life.

And to help with a simpler life, there's this essay in Nautilus on famous scientists' work-life balance that I like but have conflicted feelings about liking. I like because work-life balance, come on, even Darwin achieved it. I don't like because the implication is that we should rest in order to work better. Ew. I want to rest to rest.


I was asked in clinic a while back "where I'm from" in the tone where they expect me to say someplace exotic, just so they could say "Oh, how interesting". Normally, these questions don't faze me, especially if they're asked by nice patients who seem genuinely interested in me and how school's going for me. But this was asked out of the blue by a patient's relative. I wasn't even interviewing them. I was shadowing in the corner and hadn't said anything throughout the whole visit. I couldn't help but feel slightly revulsed by their look, even though they asked and looked at me politely. I felt like a specimen right then. Should I have? What was their intention?


March 30, 2017

Forgot we were political creatures

In clinic the other day, something funny happened to me. A peer had just wrapped up a patient visit and she turned to me, saying "I hate it when patients start talking about their political views." Yup, that can be super annoying. "It's the worst when liberals start talking about this-and-that - don't they know they're in a conservative place!"

Uh. Honey, have you seen my rainbow caduceus pin (the two snake Hermes symbol that hasn't granted me the power of flight yet, but I'm still hoping) right there on my white coat, in front of your eyes? My "I'll go with you" transgender support pin on my backpack? The fact that I have alluded to my immense hatred for Trump in our prior conversations?

For some reason, I continue to assume that doctors are innately destined to be liberals (Hi Ben Carson, forgot you existed briefly), at least social liberals. We're in a career that is so centered on "helping people" that we can't even say during medical school interviews that we want to help people - because it's such a given! Doesn't helping people mean looking after them not only when they need healthcare, but then they can't afford healthcare, when they can't afford housing, when they can't afford the basic living standards that others can? What's all this about selectively helping people? It starts to sound like being a doctor is just a bottom-line paycheck career.

I continue to be flummoxed.