The One Where a Stranger Caught My Happy Dance

I interrupt my Internal Medicine Shelf exam / USMLE Step 2 studying to bring you a very important message:

…I just walked (okay, I’ll be honest, danced) out of the hospital for the LAST time as a third year.

More than a few people witnessed my triumphant hospital exit…

And the next time I don my white coat and enter the hospital, I’ll be a fourth year.

…I can’t even believe it.

Excuse me while I take a moment to squeal:

I did it! I did it! I did it! It’s over! I’m no longer the low man on the totem pole! I’m a fourth year! I did it! So happy, so happy, SO FREAKING HAPPY. 

Andddd back to work.

<3, K

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Even More Ways to Know You’re a Medical Student…

41. As fourth year approaches, you tell your long-lost friends that you’re “putting in a standing order for potlucks qmonth.”

42. One of these long lost friends responds, “Phew, my insurance will cover that!”
43. Your favorite GI bug is Bacillus cereus because come on, let’s B. cereus!
44. You’ve perfected your cow drawings and puns to most creatively reserve your team’s COW (Computer on Wheels) for rounds.

Mooooove it along. This one is for Team 3.

45. You crave graham crackers and saltines when you’re exhausted.
46. When your patient tells you that there are invisible people cooking bugs in his house, your immediate reaction is to simply nod and ask, “And how long has this been going on?”
47. Your white coat weighs more than your backpack, and at any given moment you can produce a stethoscope, a reflex hammer, a penlight, 2-3 different texts, patient lists dating back two weeks, and no fewer than five different colored pens.

From A Cartoon Guide to Being a Doctor

48. A small child sees you in the hospital cafeteria and shouts, “LOOK, MOM! IT’S A DOCTOR.”
49. After informing this child that you’re a medical student, not yet a doctor, said preschooler scoffs and rolls her eyes.
50. Your impressive upper body strength earned via surgical retraction is quickly turned to mush by your six-days-per-week internal medicine rotation.
51. It’s not uncommon for someone at a bar to ask how you dealt with “chopping up a dead person and stuff.”
52. You make claims like, “Of course we all have a second stomach for dessert!” because you “learned that in medical school.”

So of COURSE you have room for this!

53. You plan next year’s vacation around the available options for international rotations, just so that the medical school will help fund your next big trip.
54. You spend your days informing patients of the importance of having a PCP and receiving all the right screening tests, but you haven’t actually gotten a physical since you started medical school.
55. You once brought a real human skull home for Thanksgiving, much to the disgust of your mother and father.
56. While spelunking in Budapest, you quickly mark yourself as a weirdo when you begin wondering aloud if the same fungal illnesses exist in American and European caves, because no one wants histoplasmosis.
57. The highlight of your week is when your resident tells you, “It’s Cinco de Mayo. Why don’t you head out and drink some margaritas for all of us?” at 1 PM on a Sunday.
58. Your friend casually mentions that her head hurts, and you immediately slam her with seven follow-up questions. (When did it start? What does it feel like? Have you felt anything like this before? Are you nauseous? Does your mom’s brother’s lawyer’s dog’s neighbor have a history of headaches like this?)
59. You are the only person on the team who is able to take the time to delve deeper into the patient’s history or to listen to their grievances, and you easily earn the patient’s trust and admiration. Sometimes, they’ll even tell you you’ve restored their faith in the medical system.
60. Your blog has been sadly ignored for several weeks while you juggle six day work weeks and upcoming board exams. (But there’s plenty of stories just waiting to be told, promise!)
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Happy Medical Mondays! Can you believe it’s May already? And beyond that, can you believe I have just THREE more work days until I’m completely DONE with third year?! It feels like I just hit the wards for my very first day on Labor and Delivery, and now, somehow I’m gearing up to take my very last shelf examination.
For my new visitors, I’m K, an almost-fourth year medical student in the US just finishing up internal medicine and very much looking forward to having the time to get back to blogging and share all the stories I’ve collected with you. In the meantime, take a look around (and maybe even subscribe or follow me on FB/Twitter), or hop on over to visit our lovely hostesses Emma and Jane to peruse some other fantastic medical blogs.