Tariq Azam, "Almost" MD

Tariq Azam is a former Teach for America Chicago high school teacher and current 4th year student at the Ohio State University College of Medicine seeking a residency in internal medicine. Outside of medical school, he enjoys board games, reading, and, most recently, writing at his blog at almostdra.blogspot.com. He is also a strong advocate for interprofessional collaboration and is deeply involved in student government at Ohio State.


What Can “Almost” Docs Learn From Poor Outcomes?

I had barely gotten out of the room when I started choking up. Took a detour to the bathroom to compose myself before heading back to the resident room for sign out. I knew rotating through pediatric hematology and oncology would be tough. I tried to mentally prepare myself for it. I think it hit me all the harder cause of it. I’ve been at this nearly a year now, and have seen some pretty awful things. One patient I’d been helping care for for three weeks had quickly become my favorite. He and his family were always a welcoming and enjoyable stop during pre-rounds or afternoons. His room consistently had new photos of grandkids, family, or OSU football. He’d made some improvements, but was not making much overall progress. All he wanted was to be home for Thanksgiving with his grandchildren, and have a home cooked meal. A week before, I headed out for the night. I’ll see you in the morning, I told him. I came back twelve hours later to an empty, freshly cleaned room, complete with a ‘Welcome to The James Cancer Hospital’ pamphlet. Or the time on L&D night call, after having successfully and without complications having back to back vaginal twin deliveries, the team had just sat down to have celebratory Tim Horton’s. Right then, the senior got a STAT call to the L&D...