Friday, November 16, 2012

Refreshing, Awakening, Invigorating, Necessary: RAIN, by blogger of the month Jamie Klein

In communities all over the world rain is mesmerizing. It literally forces us to stop in our tracks, allowing us to pause, evaluate and recollect our thoughts. In that moment of silence and stillness, we are amazed at what enters our minds. For my roommate rain is the ultimate balcony cleaning solution, no bleach or physical labor necessary. For myself rain brings a taste of home, a refreshing scent of spring that is generally lacking from this desert environment. And for the resident cat outside my apartment, rain provides the long awaited bath it has dreamed of.

Rain is as refreshing as it is essential, and it has arrived in Beer Sheva! 

As the weather is changing and finals are arriving, I can feel my classmates and myself itching for the interpersonal experiences we imagined having as up-incoming physicians. Appropriately timed, this week we began the first of several sessions intended to give us practical experience on the patient interview.

As a warm up for our pediatric interview rotation, my class and I visited Hagar elementary school in attempt to re-familiarize ourselves with the mentality of six year olds. The mission of the school is incredibly progressive in that they are integrating Arab and Israeli children and families together in order to develop a greater understanding of each others culture. Politics and conflict aside, it is a noble act.

My classmates and I divided into groups in order to participate in different after school activities: theater, cooking, reading, art, etc. A few others and myself were asked to join the kindergarteners. Due to the rain, our playtime activities were limited to legos, blocks, and crayons – still highly acceptable to the average five year old regardless of what continent you are on. I spent my time with a young Arab girl named Hallah building a lego farm. Like any two girls, our indecisiveness got the best of us and we remodeled several times. Luckily, in the end we were both pleased with the design of our lego farm! 

Aside from this experience forcing me to speak only in Hebrew, I was reminded that there is more to studying medicine than merely the basic sciences. It was the necessary wake-up call my classmates and I had been long awaiting. - blogger of the month Jamie Klein