I feel like I’ve expressed this sentiment so many times that anyone reading is like, “WE GET IT ALREADY,” but medical school passes by so quickly that it seems to defy the laws of physics. …Not that I remember much about the laws of physics. Not only have I officially started my core clinical rotations, but I’m already practically done with my first: Internal Medicine (which, coincidentally, is also the longest). I’ve spent time at the Ann Arbor VA, General Medicine at the University Hospital, and I’m currently on the Hematology/Oncology service also at the U. The majority of my experience thus far has been overwhelmingly positive. I have, however, never felt more stupid in my entire life (and have frequently expressed this out loud and received confirmation of the same from my classmates).
The transition from the classroom to the clinical realm is NUTS. For all the fuss I made over Step 1, it’s like the vast amounts of information I crammed into my head in preparation have magically disappeared now that it’s time to start actually utilizing it (thanks a lot, brain; you traitor).
There’s also all this other stuff that suddenly comes into play that lectures/Step 1 didn’t even touch. I have to know which antibiotics are oral and which are IV only? You do realize it’s a minor miracle when I even remember that they’re antibiotics, right? I’m continuously bewildered by the sheer quantity of knowledge that my superiors possess. I’ve not yet decided if they’re robots or wizards, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the two. I’ll get back to you.
Probably the hardest part of figuring out how to navigate my new life (and it really does feel like an entirely new life) is balancing the fact that I am constantly findings topics that I need to study and have practically no time to study. I’ve heard that Internal Med is pretty hardcore in this regard and am hopeful that this balance will be easier to strike in the future.
My current feelings expressed above are highly colored by the fact that my end-of-rotation Shelf Exam draws ever closer. I must say that on most days during the past several weeks I’ve called my mom in the evening and essentially said, “I’m really happy and I don’t even know why.” Being part of a healthcare team, participating actively in patient care, learning by doing; it’s all permeated by a general sense of contentment. I just feel good (and exhausted, but that’s a given) at the end of the day more times than not. Honestly, one of my biggest fears at the moment is that I’m going to love everything and be an absolute hot mess when it comes time to decide what specialty I want to pursue. There are worse problems to have.