I have been a bad blogger. Sorry peeps. I blame Residency.
Because after three weeks, the honeymoon is over, and it’s getting real.
At this point I get up between 5 and 6:30 am to get to clinic or didactics, I’m in clinic until about 6 pm every day (I’m starting on a cush rotation with these hours, trust me, I am well aware of this), I get home and maybe take a little walk, and then get to studying. I’m mostly studying surgery and suturing skills (after getting my @ss handed to me in the Sim. Lab), or however many learning issues or articles/chapters I can get through (after getting a huge pile of them handed to me on any given day). And somewhere in there, I find time to record my patient encounters and work hours, check my work email, call my continuity patients or a non-work-related family member/friend, water my (one surviving) patio plant, feed Miss Kitty, and make sure I have clean underwear for the next day (don’t worry, thus far, I have made this one a priority).
And, I have to admit, occasionally I sneak a social outing in there. And then I spend the next three days compensating by adding to my rapidly accumulating slept dept. I get it now. Med School = $ Debt. Residency = Sleep Debt. I always wondered how every physician I have ever known is capable of sleeping instantaneously, anywhere, anytime. And I get the benefit of the Magical Work Hour Restrictions. How they got through without them? I cannot even f*@%ing imagine. Whatever, the social outings I do get to, mostly hanging out in some crazy fun/cool new place in The Big City with other (I am finding to my delight, also crazy fun/cool) OB/GYN residents here. Totally worth it.
Especially after my first night on L&D call (i.e. where after clinic all week, I spend my weekends). OMFG. This went beyond your run-of-the-mill, good old fashioned @ss handing folks. By now I’ve tucked most of that night safely away in the part of my brain that will probably give me PTSD some day. I don’t even know how to explain it. It was like 16 straight hours in a speeding bus with no brakes, full of pregnant women. Where I was simultaneously expected to steer the bus, fix the brakes, deliver the babies, and make sure I documented it all in a timely and most through fashion. I peed once and ate some stale birthday cake with my bare hands when my attending wasn’t looking at about 4 am.
Honestly, I walked away from that night, and from every day so far thinking “Meh. Overall, that was pretty good.” Because when I walk away, the good, the wonderful, the f@#$ing amazing things are all I can think about. Like delivering my first baby in residency, being there when a med student sees their first delivery period, working with med students period (I suspected I would like teaching peers, nope, I frickin’ LOVE it), telling adorably enthusiastic parents-to-be the sex of their baby, getting my first official page “Hello, this is Nurse, MD….” (!!!!!!), practicing (playing) with my home laparoscopy kit, any time I have the right answer for anything, nailing an abdominal circumference or BPD, reassuring and educating patients and seeing the understanding and relief on their faces, interacting with patients period….the list goes on.
Honestly, sometimes I walk away from work thinking, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this.” (I’m taking this as a good sign (once again) that I’ve chosen the right specialty.)
The major thing I’ve struggled with so far is speed. I loathe the EMR system here, it is the most counter-intuitive, time consuming system I have ever encountered. But, I know (somewhere, deep inside) that with practice and experience I’ll get faster. And then I’ll get to spend even more time with patients. Which is where I am also finding I am slower and vastly different in my approach from most of the attendings I work with.
Don’t get me wrong, so far they are all caring, very competent individuals. I guess, they’re just more businesslike and efficient than I am when working with patients. Businesslike and efficient are fine, and even very desirable and essential, when it comes to paperwork. But when it comes to patients, I am all heart.
I can’t help but keep remembering an encounter I had during interviews when I’m behind because I’ve spent “too much time talking with patients.” An interviewer actually asked me once if I thought, having been a nurse, I could still be efficient in clinic. Intellectually, I know it was an @sshole thing for them to say. The Insecure Intern in me wonders. And then, the Nurse, MD that I am, says Yes. I can have the best of both worlds. I can be efficient, but NEVER at the cost of caring for my patients. Caring for them, caring about them, and spending all the time with them they need. I will find a way (and in doing so I suspect I will become the speediest, most efficient documenter in the history of EMR).
I will also always find a way to take pictures. Here are a bunch I’ve managed to snap in my little walks……..