One of the toughest things I find while being on maternity leave is finding the time to read my medical journals. Oh sure, there’s plenty of time to write my blog, surf the net, check Twitter and FB, eat food and nurse the baby. But sitting down for 10-15 minutes to read a journal? Surely, you jest!
I subscribe to several medical journals – CMAJ, CFP and NEJM. For some reason, I have stopped getting paper copies of CFP, so it’s even more rare that I read it. However, CMAJ and NEJM come regularly. And they pile up on my desk.
I will usually skim through the CMAJ but the one I read a lot of is NEJM (though you wouldn’t know it to see the stack on my desk right now). I really enjoy the Case Records of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Images in Clinical Medicine. Only in a medical journal can you see some gross stuff (well, I’m sure you can find lots on the Internet, but that’s a different thing). Both are great exercises in problem solving. The Case Records goes through a patient case step by step, from initial admission to discharge/conclusion. Most of the cases are pretty obscure but there are a few that I have figured out before the diagnosis is given. Same is true for the images, though most of the time I have no idea what I’m looking at because the medical condition is so obscure. Still, it’s fun.
The only problem now is that I just don’t have the attention span to read the journals. I am so, so tired. I feel like a broken record. I read a sentence and I have no idea what I just read. It’s not even that my mind is on other things – my mind is actually nowhere. Zombie-land. Clouds. Ether. I have no idea where it goes.
I know it’ll get better. I have done this before. I know what that feeling will be like to wake up in the morning and realize I’ve slept for 7 hours non-stop. My first thought will be, “Oh my God, is the baby ok?” And then when I realize he’s slept through the night I’ll be beyond happy. Ecstatic.
Until then, the journals will continue to accumulate and hopefully, slowly but surely, they will get read.