Doctor, what next? The thoughts of a graduating medical student.



Two years ago, during my second year of medical school, my classmates and I sat in cramped auditorium chairs as our instructor presented us with a clinical scenario.

We were learning about arrhythmias, and our instructor flipped through slides of different ECG patterns, asking how we would respond to each. After several less concerning ones, the slide flashed ventricular fibrillation: an irregular quivering of the heart muscle that prevents blood from pumping properly, and a frequent cause of cardiac arrest.

What would you do in this situation?

“You run.” he said. “Now, there are two directions you can run.” In the comfort of a classroom, facing an invisible arrest patient, we all laughed.

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