As I scroll through my recent blog posts, I realize I haven’t blogged about my critical care fellowship directly in quite some time. Many of my “lesson” posts are a direct result of things I encountered during my training, but today is a day of reflection as I have now completed my ICU fellowship!
Above all else, my patients continue to inspire me with their stories of resilience, love, and optimism amidst even the most dire circumstances. Ever since I became a physician five years ago, I have always gravitated towards the “difficult conversations” regarding ethical issues, leading multidisciplinary meetings, and discussing goals of care. Why? Because it’s in these moments where a patient and their family and caretakers are at their most vulnerable. Where I am reminded about the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship. Where I try to combine humanism, humility, and the entirety of my training to answer: “Doctor Kumar, what should we do?”
I have seen life taken from those who should have survived, and second chances given to those who should have perished despite overwhelming comorbidities and critical illness. Critical care has allowed me to employ knowledge, procedural skills, bedside manner, and teaching in a manner which I never imagined.
And a special shout out to the ICU nurses I have worked with over the last year. You all have shown me true patient advocacy despite whatever “tunnel vision” treatment teams and consultants often possess. I’m so grateful for each one of you, and I hope you all enjoyed my quirkiness! 😉
Here’s hoping I have a great start to my cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellowship tomorrow! 🙂