The day has finally arrived. After finishing my dissertation in March, April flew by. I finished up paperwork, did some revisions, and went on vacation, returning home just in time for the start of M3 orientation. I was absolutely terrified, but also thrilled to be moving on. As much as I have enjoyed my doctoral work, I think most of us joined the MSTP because we couldn’t commit to doing just one thing, and I’ve been looking forward to applying my medical knowledge from oh-so-many-years ago!
The hard parts:
- As often as I repeat that I am an M3, I know I’m really an MSTP7, and I don’t know most of my classmates.
- In addition to feeling like an interloper in their class, it’s been 4 years since anyone asked me whether or not clindamycin or bactrim would cover a cutaneous strep infection in addition to possible staph. I don’t remember a lot of stuff.
- My schedule is not my own! I can hardly remember where I’m supposed to be when, because it is different every day, and I have no idea what the coming months will bring.
The exciting and nice parts:
- Everyone is really friendly and seems to appreciate that I’m willing to admit when I don’t know something. (This happens often – I like to think of myself as much-appreciated rather than under-prepared).
- The clinical refresher course and M3 shadowing have helped a lot. I wouldn’t go so far as to describe them as giving me a leg up on my colleagues, but would definitely say that I don’t feel nearly as behind as I would have if I hadn’t had them!
- Starting with pediatrics, and particularly outpatient pediatrics, was a great choice. Happy babies don’t care how long it takes you to pin them down as long as you look in their ears quickly, and it’s hard to stay in any kind of bad mood when someone is gurgling and cooing at you while you listen to their lungs.
Now that I’m officially back in the medical school, I’m planning to post a bit more frequently, and to try to connect what I’ve been doing for the past for years in Public Health with the medicine I’m learning now. You know, just a little something on the side during this most relaxing of years… Wish me luck!