Saturday, July 26, 2008

PPD negative and cavity-free!

The nice thing about being on nightfloat is that I have daytime hours free. I should be sleeping, but when else am I going to be able to run my errands?

I'm pretty sure intern year had a negative impact on my health. (Those hospital cafeteria chicken wings are pretty hard to resist.) However, it's nice to know that my teeth are still intact and that those N95 masks really do keep the tuberculosis away.

If only I could have gotten an appointment with my primary care physician! There's an 8-week wait for an appointment. Somehow I called my dentist, and I got an appointment within a week. I also called my mechanic and was able to bring my car in the next day. I have high hopes for change in our healthcare system not just because I'm a frustrated doctor; I'm also a frustrated patient.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hello, PGY-2!

Now that I'm a PGY-2, I'm really looking forward to leading a team of interns and doing more teaching, but July 1st was a bit anticlimactic for me as I'm starting out on elective. In some ways, it seems wise to stay away from the inpatient wards this month. I've gone to visit some friends on the wards, and it seems like controlled chaos. My fellow PGY-2's are a little frustrated that their interns are not as efficient as we were, but we remember well how difficult the first few weeks were for us. Looking back, I was thankful to survive each day somewhat intact.

Although I'm not leading a team, new responsibilities abound everywhere I look now that I'm a resident.
  • In the urgent care clinic, I'm now expected to see six patients a session instead of the four I saw just two months ago in the same clinic. I haven't become magically more efficient, but I'm quickly learning lest the nursing staff kill me for keeping them late!

  • Next, I will be admitting patients overnight as the junior resident nightfloat. While there is a senior resident around if I have questions (in addition to fellows and attendings by phone), I'm largely expected to admit these patients on my own. I know it is something I am capable of, but I feel a bit like I'm swinging on a trapeze without a safety net.

  • After a few weeks of nightfloat, I'll be in the emergency room, again without any interns to "boss" around. Instead, I will be running the "medical traumas" that come into the ER, such as overdoses and strokes. Yes, a patient will be rolling into a trauma room, and I will be yelling out orders!

This year will be an adventure, for sure. I'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Minute to Mourn

There's so much to write about, especially since I haven't written in over 3 months and today I officially am a PGY-2. However, I just wanted to take a minute to express something I'm feeling now -- the time missed with friends and family over the last year.

I remember when I was applying to residency programs and thinking about how each would affect my friends and family. My advisor said, "The people in your life will have to understand that for the next three years your needs, your training, your life will have to take priority." I know what she was trying to get at. For the last year, I have become less available, less flexible, less able to take care of the people in my life due to my training.

As I pour over my schedule for this coming year trying to find ways to be with my loved ones for weddings, birthdays, and holidays, I mourn all the ones I missed in the last year. I mourn the ones I will miss this year and next. I mourn all the unexpected twists and turns in the road they are experiencing without me.