Internal Medicine: Week 1 Recap

On Monday, it’s probably safe to say I was legitimately terrified.

Obviously, I didn’t get any sleep on Sunday night, and instead I just sat on my floor wrapped in my own hair.

I just finished radiology, a rotation known for it’s relaxed atmosphere and minimal hours of “work.”

And this week, I started Internal Medicine, an 8-week rotation known for longer hours, intense pimping (aka: q-and-a sessions in which medical students typically get to be embarrassed by just how much they’ve forgotten from the USMLE Step 1), and just an overall larger workload, especially when making the switch from “radi-holiday.”

…except I basically hit the medicine team lottery.

I’m one of four students spending the first four weeks at a community hospital about 35 mins outside of the city, and I’m learning that friendliness of hospital staff increases proportionally to distance outside of the city. I mean, here, people say things like:

“Listen, if your stress level hits even 1/10, that’s too much. You don’t have to know all of the answers and I want to know if you’re feeling uncomfortable.” -Dr. Hospitalist

“I know you have two patients. But do you want a third? Wait, really? You want one? Are you sure? Really? You’re sure?” – my intern, who apparently is really worried about overworking me.

And no one ever makes me feel bad for not knowing an answer. Which is good, because there’s a lot of answers I’ve forgotten in the months since I took boards.

The staff of this hospital.

I was assigned to the team responsible for the less acutely ill patients, so the management plans tend to be fairly straightforward and our patient turnover rates are pretty high. Multiple times this week, I picked up a new patient to follow in the morning, only to help with the discharge paperwork by noon. Admissions typically come in overnight, so usually once my notes are (hand)written, there’s not a whole lot going on in the afternoon.

…which means that I’ve been getting hours upon hours of both independent study time and one-on-one teaching with both my resident and my attending on any topic of my choosing… and I’ve STILL been getting out by 3:00 PM (my classmates stay until 5-6 PM at least…).

This is how you leave the hospital at 3 PM for the fourth day in a row…

Basically, I have radiology hours along with the opportunity to interact with patients.

So I’m pretty much living the dream. Minus the part where I’m spending my one and only day off battling a GI bug, but I guess you can’t have everything.

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