Thursday, April 26, 2007

Remember me, doc?

Last week I found out that my second-year internship is at a highly coveted spot -- one of the best private mental hospitals in the city, affiliated with one of the best medical schools. Two days ago, I read a wonderful piece about empathy in the New York Times. It was written by a psychiatrist on that school's faculty. He was my psychiatrist in the hospital after I attempted suicide. It was another hospital in that same med school's network.

I have to go for a confirmation interview, so they can decide where to place me -- there are many different slots; they accept social work students from several schools. I wanted to email him to see if he remembered me, and to tell him how well I'm doing.

But I was afraid to. The psychologists at the Bad Place discriminated against me because I have bipolar disorder; it didn't mitigate their harshness toward me at all, and I think it might even have increased it. I don't want to lose this internship -- it's the best training I could possibly get. So now I'm terrified he'll be at the interview.

Of course, due to confidentiality, I don't think he'd be allowed to tell the other faculty about my diagnosis and history, but what if he thinks its relevancy trumps confidentiality because I'd be a danger to the patients, and tells the others anyway? I'd have no way of knowing. I'll also probably have to go for a physical there, unless I can transfer -- and get them to accept -- the results of the physical I underwent for my current internship. The physical at which I admitted to depression but not bipolar disorder.

I'm also afraid that the disastrous situation at my current internship will somehow torpedo next year's internship -- that they'll believe what happened with A.D. was my fault. They thought everything was my fault at The Bad Place.

UPDATE: I subsequently realized that the author of this piece has a very similar name to the psychiatrist who treated me after my overdose, but is not the same person. That's a relief.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Wow. I can imagine that being a highly uncomfortable situation, to say the least. Hatzlacha rabba.

  2. I don't think you have any reason to worry about any of these things, Ayelet. Even if the doctor you mentioned is on the interview, how do you know he'll remember you? And if he does, why do you think he'll hold it against you? If he's half the caring professional you say he is, he may ask to speak with you privately to see how you're doing, but that's as far as he'll go.

    And why do you think the current internship is going to go down in the record books as such as disaster? You're doing good work. You're having a personality conflict - a small one - with an AD. You get along fine with your supervisor. Big picture - it's so much better than the bad place. Be optimistic and move forward on the assumption that things will go well. And if they don't, you'll tackle the challenges as they come.

    Wishing you the best - me