This has been a relatively chill week for me. Not much has happened, to be honest. I finished up my Emergency Medicine rotation last week and am now on a month of Medical Genetics. It’s really amazing how many different ways our bodies can malfunction. Or rather it’s amazing that our bodies turn out so well despite all the intricate steps happening at cellular and molecular levels. This month is really learning all the ways people aren’t so lucky. Be it random genetic changes or being born to parents with issues of substance abuse.
Anyway, since not much has happened, I figured I’d write a little about why I decided to choose the greatest medical specialty of all time. Which in my most humble opinion is Psychiatry. Why? I guess it comes down to a few things.
One is my love of stories. Psychiatry is all about collecting information about a person’s life. It pops up in every field of medicine is impossible to ignore. My favorite stories come from people with schizophrenia, which is why people with it have a special place in my heart. Everything from people thinking their God to people inventing rap music “in the South of France aka Finland” to inventing “Crack-a-done” to having roommates that suffocate them in the morning by passing gas. It’s amazing. I have to physically tell myself not to laugh or smile in serious moments often because of how serious the situations are to people. As a literature lover, it’s like constantly living surrounded by dramatic irony.
The second reason I love Psychiatry goes back to my reason of going to medical school in the first place. It is the fact that I want to work with vulnerable populations. Populations that people ignore or brush aside. People who we pretend aren’t people and people who we use for political reasons then discard. There is no population in America more vulnerable than people with severe mental illness, except maybe traumatized children. Both of which I get to work with as a Psychiatrist. People with schizophrenia seem scary to laypeople and sometimes for good reason, but there are a lot of misconceptions. And both groups have a certain purity, especially children, when you dig deep and get passed their traumas, fixed beliefs, and defenses.
I have a lot more reasons, but I think the last reason I’ll discuss is the improvisation of it. My background is in humanities, shout out to my historians and religious studies majors! So I love critical thinking and analyzing texts and historical events. Psychiatry is one of the few fields of medicine where your greatest skillset is analyzing a person’s demeanor and coming up with the perfect follow-up question or statement to either get crucial information or persuade a person to change aspects of their life. Improvisation separates good from great psychiatrists. To be frank, other fields of medicine are very rigid and algorithm focused and I hate both of those things. I hate looking at a flowsheet to decide what to do next. I can’t imaging standing for hours during surgeries following the same steps to remove the 1000th gallbladder or seeing my 16th patient of the day for 15 minutes having the same conversation about diabetes medication or avoiding salt, everyday, multiple times a day, for the rest of my life. I’d be bored to death.
I’m a bit lazy today, so I’m skipping on the hardcore science this week. But this week’s recipe will be one of the simplest cookie recipes I’ve created. And it has one of my favorite texture. This recipe took a lot of trial and error because I was using the Muffin Method, which I’ve always avoided in cookies, mainly because I was used to using the Creaming Method. All you have to do is combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and all of the wet ingredients in another bowl then combine. See it’s super easy! But remember and this is important. The dough when finished should look like CHOCOLATE TAFFY. It needs to be MOIST and MOLDABLE. If you can’t shape it in your hand because it is too sticky, you have to add 2 tablespoons more flour and stir. Continue adding flour until you get the right texture. If it’s crumbly and falling apart, then you have to add more liquid. Add milk in 1 tablespoon increments.
Double Chocolate Thick Cookies (Muffin Method)
½ cup of vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of sugar (204g)
½ cup of brown sugar (60g)
1 cup All-Purpose flour (172g)
1/2 cup bread flour (56g) (can replace with AP flour, cookie will be softer)
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
¼ cup cocoa powder (22g)
1/8 tsp salt
6 oz of chocolate chips (or as preferred)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine all wet ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix. Dough should look like chocolate taffy. It should be moist and moldable. If sand-like add 1 tbs of milk and stir. If wet and sticky and 2 tbs of flour and stir.
- Add chocolate chips.
- Place on baking sheet using 1 tablespoon spoon to portion. Dough should be at least an inch and a half apart.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until done.
Makes about 20 cookies