Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 2833: I don't know where the time goes

I feel like I just wrote my blog post yesterday and I feel like I just had my New Year's Eve fun two days ago. I honestly don't know how this month is almost over.

Today, I met up with my Step 1 group. Have I told you about this? I (along with two classmates) am mentoring/guiding second-year medical students about their upcoming board exam; giving them tips about what to look out for on the test, ways to remember stuff, etc. It's crazy to me that I was in their shoes just last year, and what's crazier is that I actually remember stuff. If only I hadn't let the fear of my future paralyze my ability to hold information in my brain. It feels overwhelming still, to study for Shelf exams (more standardized exams, at least this time they are about one focused subject, such as internal medicine or psychiatry), but it's nice to have these sessions where I am reminded that a) I do actually know something, and b) I have actually progressed.

Being in the hospital is great because I interact with patients and feel way more like a pretend-doctor than I have so far. It's also tough because I am constantly reminded of how little I know. I have a long way to go, and I am learning now why that is. If I could learn all this stuff in two years, and know it, well, anyone could. Everyone could be a doctor in two years. The 7+ years of training that physicians go through (medical school and residency) is for a good reason. You have to know this stuff in-and-out before it's time to actually have the responsibility of other people's lives on your shoulders. It's scary, but cool to know that when I am five years into my MD, you can actually trust me to know something. Have no expectations before then though ;)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 2824: Hello 2014!

...14 days later.

I am currently on the first of my two-months of internal medicine. And. Surprisingly. I love it. I am currently on the hospitalist service (a hospitalist is someone who takes care of emergency-department-admitted patients in the hospital. They do zero time in the clinic/outpatient setting) and I really enjoy it. I didn't think I would like in-patient anything, but I was surprised by the continuity of care. I also like the diverse patient population (young folks, old folks, weird diseases I learned about in pathology but didn't think were real, exacerbations of chronic issues like diabetes). And the hours aren't awful either (the hospitalist service where I work/learn are two weeks on, two weeks off).

I had an epiphany last week that I might want to ditch family medicine for an internal medicine-pediatrics combined residency. It is a four year residency (compared with the three-years it takes for family) and I would be double-boarded (aka certified) in internal medicine and pediatrics. That means I will be supah smaht and can work in whatever field (inpatient or outpatient settings) and with whomever (kids or adults or both) I want. Sounds pretty sweet, huh?

In addition, I am learning that I like my free time. I like being able to sleep (in). I am also learning that I work to live, not live to work. I want to enjoy my work, don't get me wrong, but I don't want it to a) define who I am as a person, or b) take over my entire life. And I worry that urology, at least the five-year surgical 80-hour-work-week residency, may not be it for me. I hear attending life (life after residency) is good, but I am having a truly difficult time looking beyond those five years. Those five years will be marriage and baby-making time if I have any say in it! And a surgical residency is not the time to be planning weddings and popping out fetuses...or at least I don't think it is. I don't know. I really don't know. All of this is a lot to think about and I still have to learn stuff that I am constantly forgetting and I still have to be awe-inspiring. Ugh. I'm going to bed.

Talk soon. xxx